Have you ever heard the song Magic Power by the Canadian band Triumph? It's a great song, I'd recommend it. In this song, we hear this message about the magic power of music. About how it has this ability to change our mood, pick us up at the end of a long day. The second verse says:
She's had a rotten day, but she hopes the DJ is gonna play her favourite song. It makes her feel much better, brings her closer to her dreams. A little magic power makes it better than it seems.
Now, perhaps this song is elevating the power of music to heights that make music a small-g “god”. But it's also speaking a lot of truth about the power that music can have in our lives.
These last few weeks at Student Ministries we've been looking at the students' favourite songs. We've been taking a hard look at the lyrics, and asking the question: when we sing these songs, what is the message we're projecting to others? When I sing these lyrics, what am I saying about who I am, about who God is, and about the world we live in? Then once we've answered those three questions, we take a step back and look at the truth, and so far, the truth has presented a very contrasting worldview than that of these songs.
It's a practice that I am hoping to ingrain in the minds of our students, but I think it's a skill we could all use, because music is catchy, and it drives us. We could be out for a walk, and someone is cranking a tune from their garage or their car, or we see it in a movie or tv show. Then it's stuck in our brains, and we start to hum it or sing it to ourselves, then, we're the ones cranking it from our garage, or our cars as we drive. And on the surface, it seems harmless, you're just enjoying a song. There's a lot of really catchy songs out there that are just a blast to listen to. Songs that make us feel good, pick us up after a long day at work, or that are singing about something you're going through. But, a lot of our favourite songs, are painting a picture about who we are as individuals that is self-centered, or about a god that is so careless or powerless, or about our world that has no hope, and we really ought to be more careful before we put songs like that on repeat. Sure it's got a great beat, but these themes and ideas can trickle into our worldview if we aren't paying attention.
Now, maybe you're sitting there reading this and thinking “Geez Mike, way to be a bummer...”
Please understand that music is one of my favourite things that God has gifted us with. I have whole mix CD's that are filled with songs that are fun to drive to. There are songs that when they come on the radio I smile because I just love that song. I got a playlist on my phone that is just classic 70's and 80's rock songs that remind me of childhood, and my dad playing rock radio stations on long drives. There are songs that I get to the end of my workday and they're like a little reward on the drive home. Music is incredible, and I thank God every day that he's given us this beautiful gift of rhythm and beat. All I want to make sure we're doing, as a church, and as Christians, is to be wise about what we're consuming, and the subsequently sharing with others. Recognize that a lot of the secular music we enjoy, has this false idea about humanity, about this world, and about the God that we serve. And go into this music knowing the truth about those three things. Because, I'd argue that music does have power, and I urge us to be using that power to glorify God.
Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:16-17)
Mike Sanders, Director of Youth
This past Sunday morning, Aaron asked the question, “What is a disciple?” We talked about how a disciple is (spoiler alert) a learner, or a student. As Christ-followers, we are learners (students) of Jesus.
Now I don't know if Aaron intentionally scheduled this message to line up with the Back to School season, but it was a helpful reminder that – no matter how “senior” we are - we are all still learning.
Schools now are realizing that different people learn in different ways, and I have to agree. For instance, I like to learn something in private; I practice it a million times until I've perfected it, and then present it to the public as if it were a natural gifting God has blessed me with.
Which makes learning in community kind of a kick-in-the-teeth for me.
Because the process of learning can be incredibly humbling.
As someone who started attending church in diapers I feel like there isn't much I shouldn't already know.
I've recited all the memory verses, I've sung all the Bible songs, what's left to learn??
(As I write this, Job 38 comes to mind and at any moment I'm sure I will hear God's booming voice putting me in my place)
Of course, the short answer is, there is loads left to learn! God's Word is alive and will continue to speak to us as we grow in Him. And God makes Himself known in many other ways.
One of them being you.
Take a look in the mirror, and know that God is working in you, and He wants to make Himself known through you.
We all have stories of God at work in our lives; times He has given us strength in moments of weakness, patience in periods of uncertainty, and comfort in the midst of deep sorrow. When we come out of these times, and share our experience, we are proclaiming God, we are making Him known!
Praise God that we don’t get through each day on our own strength, but on His!
This week I was reminded of Psalm 9, where David exclaims, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”
As a church – as a body of believers – let’s make Christ known through His saving work in our lives.
“Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.” – Psalm 111:1-3
Jolene Sanders, Director of Worship
Have you ever been asked to do something you have never done before and was beyond your comfort zone? Recently my daughter asked me to build a set of benches. I have never built furniture from scratch, so we spent time planning out the design and the materials we’d need. After the planning, the time came when I had to actually take the saw off the shelf and make the first cut. Then the second. And so on.
Since I had to build two benches, I learned from the first. Cutting the timbers for the second bench was not as intimidating because we had gained the confidence from the first.
Once we assembled the bench, we realized that additional support was needed so more material was bought and more cuts were made. We adjusted. It was a lot of effort but when we look at the final product, we are glad that we took the initiative to build these benches.
In the past year, Calvary Burlington has supported three missions trips for people who were going to places and doing things outside of their comfort zone. We also just completed a week of Forest Cliff Day Camp, where kids from the schools surrounding our church had the opportunity (some for the first time!) to hear about Jesus. These outreaches are all part of the disciple-making process.
The fall is upon us. Let’s get serious about our Lord’s command to make disciples. Let’s come out to Equip on the first Wednesday night of the month to learn more about the four core habits that help people grow (based out of Darryl Dash’s book). Get involved in Lifegroups to spur one another on to grow. Ladies, join the Tuesday evening Bible study to be built up in the faith. Men, start rubbing shoulders with other men through our monthly men’s ministry. Students, you have an incredible Wednesday night program to help you grow. Do one task in the church. Start serving in one ministry. Do one thing.
This fall, let’s build a bench. Start by making the first cut and go from there. If it works, you will have a bench. If not, ask others for help. Make adjustments. Buy more lumber. Just like I got better at making benches by doing, together we’ll get better at making disciples when we step out in faith and begin.
Peter Klahsen, Elder Chair
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