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6 Ways to Praise Yourself Out of a Funk

Life is hard, and circumstantial seasons of loneliness, stress, sickness, and sadness are painfully unavoidable on this side of heaven. Thankfully, one of my greatest gifts from God happens to be a freakish ability to maintain joy even during what I call the "funks" of life or those prolonged seasons of "blah-ness" where nothing seems to be going right, and we feel about as inspired as a piece of charcoal. Here are some of my best practices for getting yourself out of a funk.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/jontyson

Is it Wrong for Churches to Play Secular Music?

While playing secular music in church seems culturally sensitive, there is the danger of it backfiring, in that many unchurched newcomers come to the church to seek a different approach to life and their problems. Thus, hearing pop or country music may just do the opposite of being attractive.

4 Important Biblical Themes Found in Both Old and New Worship Songs

Of all the important insights we can take from the amount of music in the book of Revelation, one of the most significant realizations that has implications for us now is that worship in heaven includes both old and new songs. If we are going to be singing old and new songs for eternity, let’s explore some important Biblical themes in both old and new songs.

5 Ways to Avoid Self-Serving Worship

Individualism is one of the greatest threats to our faith. It encourages us to act in our own interests instead of looking to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4). Individualism values independence, autonomy, and self-sufficiency rather than growth in community and dependence on God—two defining characteristics of Christian doctrine.With the rise of “me” culture, individualism has become more prevalent. Personal freedom to do what we want has replaced biblicalboundaries instilled by God for our protection. The fixation on self has become toxic to families, churches, and workplaces, resulting in a higher incidence of divorce, decreased church attendance, and individuals who care more about climbing the corporate ladder than working collaboratively for the good of the group.In a world that tells us our autonomic self is our only authority, how can we help restore God to His rightful position on the throne of our lives? It starts by acknowledging Jesus is Lord, worshipping Him, and living in a way that glorifies God.Here are 5 ways to avoid self-serving worship so you can grow in your faith and honor your Heavenly Father:Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Iyan Kurnia

5 Ways We Subconsciously Make Worship about Us

You’ve probably said it – or at least heard someone else speak the words: “I wasn’t really into the worship this morning.”You may even be someone –or know someone—who has left a church because of a “worship experience” or lack thereof.But when did worship become about us, our preferences, or our experience?In our North American culture, the word worship has become synonymous with singing in church and associated with different musical styles. Yet worship is about the worth-ship of God, the glorifying of His name, and the surrender and allegiance of His people to the Almighty Creator and Sustainer God. I know we don’t do it intentionally, but we can approach the entire topic as if it’s about us and our entitlement to a specific experience, rather than about God and what He is entitled to receive from us.Here are just five ways we subconsciously make worship about us, and how to get our focus back on the One to whom it’s due:Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Bartek Szewczyk

5 Unique Ways to Worship God

There are many different ways to worship God. Beyond the traditional ways of worshiping – such as praying and singing praise songs – you can discover other fresh and creative worship methods. Trying out some new worship practices can inspire you with awe and rejuvenate your relationship with God. So, shake up your worship practices to go on an adventure with God! Here are five unique ways to worship God:Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/SeventyFour

10 Reasons Contemporary Worship Is Declining and What We Can Do to Help the Church Move On

Experiencing God through worship has presentationally changed over time, but elementally remained the same. To understand where contemporary worship is going, it’s helpful to understand what it is and when it began. The charismatic movement birthed this style of worship known for a more casual setting. Leaders take the stage and utilize technology to connect more relevantly.This shift in Christianity has been influenced by the importance of spiritual gifts … charismata. “These are supernatural graces which individual Christians need to fulfill the mission of the Church” (Wikipedia). God is the same today as He has been for all other generations before us. Though we evolve and change, He does not. Contemporary Worship is evolving into the next generation, and with that comes change.Photo credit: ©Kalisa Veer/Unsplash

5 Popular Christmas Songs with Bad Theology

When we sing beloved Christmas carols that are familiar to us, we may not think much about the lyrics. We learned the songs years ago and simply take their messages for granted. But sometimes, the lyrics may strike the wrong chord theologically. It can be shocking to realize that some of our favorite Christmas songs aren’t biblically accurate. Here are five popular Christmas songs with bad theology:Photo Credit: Unsplash/David Beale

20 Contemporary Christmas Songs to Play This Season

We know when we hear Christmas music that the season has arrived, the Christmas season. They are the tunes we crank up while hosting our parties, sing along to while shopping, or listening to on the couch enjoying some hot chocolate. Though this year may change some of the normal activities we do to celebrate Christmas, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Christmas songs while working from home, celebrating Christmas at home, or singing along to your microphone steering wheel.Besides reminding us of Christmas pasts, songs can also speak to us in ways we never thought possible, even in reminding us about the God who loves us and the Savior who we commemorate every December. Here are 20 contemporary Christmas songs that will make you smile and remember that the spirit of Christmas can be felt year-round. (The list is not in order of favorites or as a top-20 list.)Photo credit: ©GettyImages/EzumeImages

What Is There to Praise God about When Life Is Hard?

Hard times come to everyone, but for believers, the journey through life’s dark valleys looks very different. Your ability to triumph amid adversity is going to start with your determination to “walk by faith and not by sight.”

How to Discern if a Song Is Appropriate for Worship at Church

The songs chosen for praise and worship services have a unique flavor and flair that is deeply reflective of how each church is comprised. Older congregations have a style. Younger congregations have a style. Traditional churches have a style. Contemporary churches have a style. Pentecostal churches have a style. Baptist churches have a style.But when it comes to the songs used in a praise and worship service at church, are there guidelines for what is and is not appropriate? Is it just a matter of personal preference, or does the Bible provide any insight? How can you discern if a song is appropriate for worship at church?Think about this:There are plenty of songs that are musically or emotionally attractive but are not theologically sound.There are plenty of songs that have solid theology, but are long and wordy, or hard to sing.There are plenty of songs sung in churches that were written by unbelievers or people whose lives are being lived in disobedience to God’s Word.There are plenty of songs sung in church that aren’t even about God!The truth is, both natural wisdom and spiritual discernment are necessary in choosing which songs are appropriate for worship at church. Remember, praise and worship are holy to the Lord. That’s why it is important that—above all else—His plan for praise and worship is put first.Photo Credit: Unsplash/John Price


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