Archive for the 'Worship' Category

Preaching Schedule for 2020

For a few years now, I have been planning my sermon schedules about a year in advance. I take a few days of retreat in October, and read a lot of Scripture to see what patterns might emerge, which I then hammer out into a schedule that takes me through the liturgical year.

Every OTHER year, I cycle through the Revised Common Lectionary, a three year selection of texts. This last year of 2019, I used Year D (, a collection of texts that are not used in years A, B, or C.

During the years I don’t use the Lectionary, I’m a bit more freeform. I end up asking my congregation for themes, ideas, and topics they’d like to see covered from the pulpit. 2020 is a non-Lectionary year, and so I’m completely on my own for developing what I plan to preach.

I’m glad to say I’ve completed those broad strokes, so I have a good idea of the direction we’ll be taking for 2020. Here’s the upcoming schedule for preaching at Warden Community Church:

2019-2020 Topical Studies OT READINGS NT READINGS
12/01/19 Daily Disciplines for the Christian Life: Admit Your Need Deuteronomy 8:11-18 John 15:1-9
12/08/19 Daily Disciplines for the Christian Life: Profess God’s Power II Chronicles 20:5-9 Philippians 4:10-13
12/15/19 Daily Disciplines for the Christian Life: Seek The Spirit Isaiah 26:1-9 Ephesians 5:15-21
12/22/19 Daily Disciplines for the Christian Life: Get Off The Throne Joshua 24:14-18 I Peter 3:13-17
12/29/19 Daily Disciplines for the Christian Life: Admit You Trip Psalms 32:1-5 I John 1:5-10
01/05/20 Daily Disciplines for the Christian Life: Refill Your Spiritual Supply Psalms 143:7-12 I Peter 2:1-5
01/12/20 Daily Disciplines for the Christian Life: Get Your Mission Exodus 19:1-6 Acts 1:4-8
01/19/20 Daily Disciplines for the Christian Life: Putting It Together Habakkuk 3:8-13 Philippians 2:12-13
01/26/20 Joel’s Hope: A Call To Cry Joel 1:13-20 II Peter 3:8-13
02/02/20 Joel’s Hope: Rend and Repent Joel 2:12-17 Matthew 6:16-21
02/09/20 Joel’s Hope: A Word of War Joel 3:9-16 Ephesians 6:11-17
02/16/20 PULPIT SUPPLY (RadCon)
02/23/20 The Living Word: To Bear Witness Jeremiah 31:7-14 John 1:6-8; 15-18
02/26/20 Ash Wednesday
03/01/20 PULPIT SUPPLY (Cruise)
03/08/20 PULPIT SUPPLY (Cruise)
03/15/20 The Living Word: Being Born Again Genesis 12:1-4a John 3:1-13
03/22/20 The Living Word: Samaritan Setup Exodus 17:1-7 John 4:1-15
03/29/20 The Living Word: Going Past The Mountain Deuteronomy 12:5-8 John 4:16-30
04/05/20 The Living Word: More Than Hosannas I Kings 17:8-16 John 4:39-45
04/12/20 The Living Word: Walking And Working Exodus 12:3; 7-14 John 5:1-18
04/19/20 The Living Word: Hearing Voices Isaiah 25:6-9 John 5:25-36
04/26/20 The Living Word: Missing the Message Deuteronomy 18:15-18 John 5:37-47
05/03/20 The Living Word: Words in the Dust Isaiah 43:16-21 John 8:1-11
05/10/20 The Living Word: What Can’t You See 1 Samuel 16:1-13 John 9:12-41
05/17/20 The Living Word: The Gate of Grace Ezekiel 34:11-16 John 10:1-6; 19-21
05/24/20 The Living Word: Walking In The Light Ezekiel 37:1-14 John 11:3-16
05/31/20 The Living Word: The Voice of Thunder Jeremiah 31:31-34 John 12:16-36
06/07/20 The Living Word: Hate Vs. Love Proverbs 8:22-31 John 15:18-27
06/14/20 The Living Word: Sorrow’s Change Psalm 104:26-35 John 16:1-3; 12-24
06/21/20 The Living Word: The Loss of the World Isaiah 63:7-14 John 16:25-33
06/28/20 PULPIT SUPPLY (Annual Meeting)
07/05/20 The Living Word: A Kept People Psalm 1:1-6 John 17:10-19
07/12/20 The Living Word: One Rough Night 2 Samuel 23:1-7 John 18:9-32
07/19/20 The Living Word: Swayed by the Crowd Lamentations 3:1-9 John 19:1-16
07/26/20 The Living Word: The Best Morning EVER Jeremiah 31:1-6 John 20:1-18
08/02/20 The Living Word: Love, Love, Like Psalms 30:7-11 John 21:1-19
08/09/20 Who I Am In Christ: Accepted Isaiah 56:1-8 John 15:12-17
08/16/20 Who I Am In Christ: Adopted Deuteronomy 7:6-8 Ephesians 1:3-10
08/23/20 Who I Am In Christ: Assured Jeremiah 30:18-22 Philippians 1:3-11
08/30/20 Who I Am In Christ: Secured Psalms 34:15-22 Romans 8:1-8
09/06/20 Who I Am In Christ: Significant Isaiah 65:19-23 I Corinthians 3:10-17
09/13/20 Who I Am In Christ: Seated Isaiah 6:1-4 Ephesians 2:1-7
09/20/20 Amos: A Migrant Worker’s Word Amos 1:1-5 I Corinthians 3:7-15
09/27/20 Amos: A National Judgment Amos 2:6-16 Ephesians 3:14-19
10/04/20 Amos: A Reason for Rebuke Amos 3:1-8 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
10/11/20 Amos: A Cattle Call Amos 4:1-5 Philippians 2:14-18
10/18/20 Amos: Seek The Right Amos 5:4-14 Hebrews 4:12-16
10/25/20 Amos: Sing The Blues Amos 6:1-7 1 Timothy 6:6-19
11/01/20 Amos: Accused and Ejected Amos 7:10-15 Matthew 20:8-16
11/08/20 Amos: A Dark Day on the Way Amos 8:1-12 Colossians 1:15-28
11/15/20 Amos: A Nation Restoration Amos 9:8-14 I Peter 5:6-10
11/22/20 TripAdvisor: Heaven Isaiah 25:8-12 John 3:31-36
11/29/20 TripAdvisor: Hell Daniel 12:2-3 Matthew 25:41-46

Lingering in Worship: Preparing

Lingering in Worship: Preparing

Ezra 8:21-23; 1 Peter 1:13-19

Quick refresher: Ezra is about rebuilding the Temple after the nation of Israel returns from exile. Ezra the priest shows up in chapter 7, introduces himself to the reader, and then moves the narrative along in chapter 8. He knew the newly rebuilt temple would need ministers, so he calls Levites together to staff the ministry. Then he has to move them to the Temple grounds, through hostile territory.

Prepare for Worship? We Need To Get Our

Heart Smart ~ Ezra 8:21-23

  • 21 FASTING isn’t to convince God of your sincerity; it’s to remind YOU to live in HUMILITY BEFORE GOD
  • 22 inconvenient truth: if you BRAG about God’s provision, you’d better be ready to depend upon it
  • 23 Is this FORCING God to answer the way we want? No – it might be forcing us to LISTEN better, though

Mind Aligned ~ 1 Peter 1:13-19

  • 13 not FOR salvation, but BECAUSE OF salvation
  • 14/16 one sentence: don’t shape your life by your old values; use Jesus’ life as your template: be holy Gk. “up and down, back and forth”
  • 17 live carefully, impartially (like God): THIS TAKES PREP WORK
  • 18/19 You are REDEEMED: not a purchased slave, but a cleansed child of God

We say that “liturgy/worship” is the work of the people. This work can be joyful, fulfilling, and life-changing. It just takes some preparation to get the most out of it.

Lingering in Worship: Calling

Lingering in Worship: Calling Sermon Audio Here

Ezra 1:1-6

When I was a new Christian college student, someone challenged me to open the Bible, point to a random verse, and let it change my life. For the record, I think this is a bad practice, but at the time, I didn’t know any better. I prayed, asked the Lord to show me something that would change my life, and then opened my Bible to a random page. My finger landed in the book of Ezra. I’d never read it before, and to my surprise, I did indeed find a truth there that changed my life: the necessity and importance of worship.

Worship is ACTIVE:

God’s Call Moves Us To Consider ~ Ezra 1:1-2 (we mull over what we’ve heard)

  • 1 God moves the hearts of people
  • 2 realize you’re appointed! But for what?

Our Choice Moves Us To Respond ~ Ezra 1:3-4 (we decide we’re going to get involved)

  • 3 non-believers can encourage you in your faith…
  • 4 …and resource you, too!

Our Conclusion Moves Us To Plan ~ Ezra 1:5-6 (we ask HOW will we get involved?)

  • 5 we prepare to serve
  • 6 engage your neighbors in your faith

Worship isn’t an accident; it’s something we do ON PURPOSE. What kinds of choices do we make to prepare our lives for worship?

Purpose Driven Plus One: Worship

Purpose Driven Plus One: Worship Sermon Audio Here

John 4:19-26; Deut. 6:1-9

Perhaps you’ve not heard of the difference between praise choruses and hymns. This story explains it well:

An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

“Well,” said the farmer. “It was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns.”

“Praise choruses?” asked the wife. “What are those?”

“Oh, they’re okay. They’re sort of like hymns, only different,” said the farmer.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asked the wife.

The farmer said, “Well it’s like this … If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a hymn. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you, ‘Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh, Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, the black and white cows, the COWS, COWS, COWS are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, in the CORN, CORN, CORN, COOOOORRRRRNNNNN,’ then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well that would be a praise chorus.”

As luck would have it, the exact same Sunday a young, new Christian from the city church attended the small town church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

“Well,” said the young man, “It was good. They did something different, however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs.”

“Hymns?” asked the wife. “What are those?”

“They’re okay. They’re sort of like regular songs, only different,” said the young man.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asked the wife.

The young man said, “Well it’s like this … If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a regular song. If on the other hand, I were to say to you,

Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry
Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth.
Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by
To the righteous, glorious truth.

For the way of the animals who can explain
There in their heads is no shadow of sense,
Hearkenest they in God’s sun or his rain
Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight,
Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed.
Then goaded by minions of darkness and night
They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn chewed.

So look to that bright shining day by and by,
Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn
Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry
And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn,

then, if I were to do only verses one, three and four, and change keys on the last verse, well that would be a hymn.”

– worship MUST go beyond the mere methods we use to recognize God

What IS Worship?

an Act of Spirit ~ John 4:19-24

  • 19/23 Samaritan(non-Jewish) Woman(socially unacceptable); yet, Jesus calls her to faith THROUGH WORSHIP
  • 24 an Act of Spirit (inspiration – check your intake: what do you regularly watch-read-listen that helps your spirit?)

an Act of Truth ~ John 4:25-26

  • 25/6 an Act of Truth (doctrine – check the Word – If Messiah explains everything, how do you get His Word into you?)

an Act of Listening ~ Deut. 6:1-4

  • 1-4 HEAR O Israel~ Worship: an Act of Listening (check your direction; what helps you plan your life?)

an Act of Loving ~ Deut. 6:5-9

(check your actions; what do you DO in your life of worship?)

  • 5/6 Love with all you’ve got
  • 7 Love God into your children
  • 8/9 Love God onto your world (it’s NOT a private thing!)

“There is an inborn urge in each person to worship. If we don’t worship God we will find something else to worship, whether it be a job, a family, money, a sport, or even ourselves.” Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church, pg 116

My Jesus

There are some incredibly powerful words given to the church by its members. Whenever I find some that especially speak to me, I want to remember them. As the church, we’ve placed a high value on memorizing Scripture (a value which I wholeheartedly support), but there are other words, other thoughts which are worthy of grappling.

This song contains one of those thoughts. Watch through to the end (if you can – be warned, this video can sting), and ask yourself the question that is raised.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

KFJ – Ed

Pulpit Resource, Vol. 41

I’ve received my second issue of Pulpit Resource. I’m reposting the table of contents for ease of use, to catalog what each volume covers. This is not intended to violate any copyright: all content of the magazine is held by its respective owners.

Pulpit Resource, Vol. 41, No. 4 – Year B – October, November, December 2012

Page Subject / Date / Scripture Reference

5 God’s Problem
October 7, 2012 ~ Job 1:1;2:1-10

9 Big Questions and Unexpected Answers
October 14, 2012 ~ Mark 10:17-31 (With reference to Job 23)

13 Good News
October 21,2012 ~ Mark 10:35-45

17 Walking the Way
October 28, 2012 ~ Mark 10:46-52

21 Ordinary People
November 4, 2012 ~ Ruth 1:1-18

25 The Priest
November 11, 2012 ~ Hebrews 9:24-28

29 Our Future with God
November 18, 2012 ~ 1 Samuel 1:4-20

33 King on a Cross
November 25, 2012 ~ John 18:33-37

37 God, Drawing Near
December 2, 2012 ~ Luke 21:25-36

41 Advent Anger
December 9, 2012 ~ Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 3:1-6

45 The Politics of Advent
December 16, 2012 ~ Luke 3:7-18

49 The First Disciple
December 23, 2012 ~ Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

53 Light into Our Darkness
December 25, 2012 ~ John 1:1-14

57 God on Our Level
December 30, 2012 ~ Luke 2:41—52

Prayer: Psalm 118, sung and spoken

Pastor Ed Backell

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