God Has Placed Eternity in The Human Heart

Ecclesiastes 3:11 Sunrise

“God has planted eternity in the human heart…”

This is that vacuum, that “God shaped hole” – the longing for GOD –  that has driven the impulse to worship from the beginning of human history. The religious impulse, the desire to “worship something or someone” is in our DNA. It has been expressed in every culture, nation, tribe and tongue for thousands of years.

Everybody worships.

The question is, what is the direction of your worship?

Is it to the One True God – or not?

Does your expression of worship lead you closer to the God who placed Eternity in your heart ? 

For worship leaders, this is important to understand. “Worship” is inside everyone we lead. Our role is to help them get it out.

About this series: A daily “worship ritual” I practice is to listen to The Daily Audio Bible podcast, take a photo of the morning sky, find a meaningful scripture or quote (usually from the DAB), and share it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter.

In this series of  blog posts, I go a little deeper and share a worship related  devotional thought. Please comment and share! The Lord bless you.

A New Creation Sunrise Pic

New Creation Sunrise September 1

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

About this post: A daily “worship ritual” I practice is to listen to The Daily Audio Bible podcast, take a photo of the morning sky, find a meaningful scripture or quote (usually from the DAB), and share it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter.

I’ll go little deeper with this practice for a season on the blog and share a devotional thought.

Going Deeper. As I’m writing, it is Labor Day, a holiday in the USA. A great time for some reflection and evaluation. I see the finish line for the year – massive “to do” lists, projects completed and yet to be completed. And I’m thinking/planning in more detail for 2015 and beyond.

My solace for the present – and hope for future – is in the goodness of God through Jesus Christ.

Because I am a new creation, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). So can you.

A Prayer For You. My friends I pray that you will finish this year, and your life, well. May He give you the desires of your heart.

“It Will Change Your Life” Romania School of Worship Testimonials [VIDEO]

Well, I’m back from Romania and it was just a fantastic experience. This video is a rough edit of testimonies from students at the 2014 Edition of the Scoala de Inchinare (School of Worship) in Timisoara, Romania. About 50 young adult students from all over Romania, as well as Austria and Germany, attended.

VIDEO: SCHOOL OF WORSHIP TESTIMONIALS 2014

The main take-a-way?  This is a ministry opportunity that is changing lives in a powerful and effective way. The stories of God at work in the lives of these student are inspiring and encouraging. I’ll post at least one more article about this trip.

Ivalene and I have been invited to return next year (2015) for the 10th Edition. This is gonna be awesome! You can help us raise the necessary funds by partnering with us here.

 

Romania School of Worship: Week 1 in Pictures

Words like “exciting, joyful, worshipful” would describe the first week at the 9th Edition of the Scoala de Inchinare [2014]. Other words? Intense, busy and “lots of stuff to study”. There’s about 50 students present from all over Romania, as well as Austria and Germany.

Teaching Theology Level 1 Class

Teaching Level 1 Practical Theology of Worship; and Songwriting Worskshop

Teaching Level 1 Practical Theology of Worship; and Songwriting Worskshop

Student Worship Times

Scoala Student Worship Times

Scoala Student Worship Times

Studying The Word of God

Studying the Word of God

Studying the Word of God

Music Instruction: Keyboard Class, Guitar Class

Keyboard Class, Guitar Class

Keyboard Class, Guitar Class

Ana’s Vocal Class

Ana's Vocal Class
Ana’s Vocal Class

Guys Vocal Class

Guys Vocal Class

Guys Vocal Class

Drum Lessons

Drum Lessons
Drum Lessons

 Songwriting Everywhere!

Nicholas writing a song

Ligia and Team Pause Rehearsal for a Pic

Pausing from Rehearsal

Pausing from Rehearsal

Scoala Community Meal Times

Scoala Community Meal Times

Scoala Community Meal Times

 

Dinner Time !

Dinner Time !

Singing in the Dorms

Singing in the Dorms

Singing in the Dorms

 

Day 2 Snapshot, with Genu Olaria & Pica Mengher – Directors

Day 2 Snapshot; with Genu Olariu and Pica Mengher - Directors

Day 2 Snapshot; with Genu Olariu and Pica Mengher – Directors

Day 1 Snapshot: with student Paul, Raul leads a Rehearsal

Day 1 Snapshot: with Paul; Raul leads Rehearsal

Day 1 Snapshot: with Paul; Raul leads Rehearsal

My Midnight Arrival – no bags for a couple of days, no problem.

Midnight Arrival

Midnight Arrival

Hanging Out With The Olariu Clan Friday Night After a Hard Week of School

Fun with the Olariu kids

Fun with the Olariu kids

Find out how you can help support the ministry here.

 

School of Worship Testimonials Romania [2013]. This video brings back such great memories. The joy of the Lord really fills the Scoala de Inchinare, as you will see.

Students say “Thank You and God Bless You” in Romanian to everyone who has supported the school and the other instructors.

At the end of the video students share about their experience.  If you care about missions, I hope you’ll watch it. You’ll be encouraged to see the transformation in the lives of these young men and women

This is a good work that glorifies God, makes disciples and is helping to build His kingdom.

Find out more and here how to partner with us.

Preparing for Romania Missions Trip 2014

As I write this, will be leaving soon for my 9th year teaching at the School of Worship in Romania.

A most pleasant surprise is that the young lady who has been the primary translator in Romania happens to be in Nashville for a few days. So we’re going to work on translating new material over the next few days.

What an awesome opportunity! Cristina has been one of the most diligent, hard-working, Jesus-loving and compassionate servant-leaders I have ever had the privilege of teaming with.

Notes and outlines for my courses in Romania.

Notes and outlines for my courses in Romania.

 

Cristina’s story is, well, a beautiful God story. She grew up in one of Romania’s many orphanages and met Jesus through American missionaries visiting orphans. A devoted prayer warrior and woman of God, she has served in many ministry contexts including the Franklin Graham Crusade in Timisoara.

We are so delighted she’s in the Nashville area for a few days visiting friends and relatives. Ivalene and I had the joy of hanging out with her, attending church at HFUMC and visiting some of Nashville’s cultural and historical sights.

With Cristina Boier: from top left - The Hermitage, Martins BarBQue, dinner with our son John on 12th Ave, convertible ride.

With Cristina Boier: from top left – The Hermitage, Martins BarBQue, dinner with our son John and his dog on 12th Ave, Sunday drive in the convertible.

 

You can find out more about this year’s Romania missions trip and how you can be part of the story at this link.

God bless you!

Not Ashamed of The Gospel

SEEDS: A Scattering of Groundbreaking Ideas, Vol.1 (Wilmore, Kentucky: Seedbed Publishing, 2012)

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Lately I’ve been on a quest to study John Wesley’s ministry and writings.  One of the books I’m reading has been SEEDS: A Scattering of Groundbreaking Ideas, Vol.1.

SEEDS Vol.1 is a “thoughtfully curated collection of twenty excerpts that sketch ten ideas in [John] Wesley’s preaching that can change the world.”

It is available for free from http://seedbed.com/ “Seedbed sows the whole gospel into the whole world by uniting voices around a shared vision and publishing resources that awaken the 21st century church.”

We believe another such Divine idea is afoot; an idea whose time has come again. It’s the idea that God doesn’t just save people from the penalty of sin. This is only the beginning. God, in his grace, saves people from the power and even the effects of sin. No one is beyond the reach of the grace of God and no sin beyond his power to re-form into the resplendence of holiness.

In every age, the Spirit of God searches the continents, looking for witnesses with the audacity to proclaim a Gospel without limitations.

The Spirit sifts the generations, looking for men and women ready to display a species of grace whose properties hold the potential to completely re-form persons and communities in the image of God.

Renew your works in our day Lord!

LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.
 Habakkuk 3:2

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Romania Mission 2014, Teaching The Next Generation

Wow, August of 2014 will be my 9th consecutive year of teaching at the School of Worship (Scoala de Inchinare) in Timisoara, Romania.

I’ve been on short term missions trips to Eastern Europe every summer since 2001, that’s 14 years in a row. Time flies when you’re having fun. And there’s nothing more rewarding than serving the Lord.

THANK YOU VIDEO [2012]:

As I write this article, I’m editing a new video to share with testimonials from 2013. In the meantime, you can see and hear from the 2012 students in this video.

Students say “Thank You and God Bless You” in Romanian to everyone who has supported the school and the other instructors.

At the end of the video students share about their experience.  If you care about missions, I hope you’ll watch it, especially the last testimony. You’ll be encouraged to see that lives are being changed.

This is a good work that glorifies God, makes disciples and is helping to build His kingdom.

School of Worship (Scoala de Inchinare) Class of 2013, Timisoara, Romania

School of Worship (Scoala de Inchinare) Class of 2013, Timisoara, Romania

BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING

In the summer of 2013, my wife Ivalene and I served together at the School of Worship in Romania, as well as the SOZO Festival in Serbia.

She taught seminars on Children’s Worship. I taught Theology, Worship Leading and Songwriting.

Serving in Missions together in 2013. Left: Timisoara, Romania. RIght: SOZO Festival, Novi Sad Serbia

Serving in Missions together in 2013. Left: Timisoara, Romania. RIght: SOZO Festival, Novi Sad Serbia

We also traveled to Cluj, Romania and ministered in three local churches together.

We’re investing in the next generation that will change nations.

Scoala Ivy collage

Teaching with Ivalene, her children’s worship seminar , grading student papers.

 For the 2014 trip, it will be just me traveling to Romania.

ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF WORSHIP

The school is 4 weeks long during August and quite intense. Myself and other guest instructors live in community with the students while we’re there.

I teach Theology of  Worship in the mornings and Songwriting class in the late afternoon /early evening. The days are long and full of activity.

Teaching Theology and Songwriting at the Scoala de Inchinare

Teaching Theology and Songwriting at the Scoala de Inchinare

MORE ABOUT THE SCHOOL

You can get an in-depth view of the Scoala de Inchinare experience with a lot of pics in this 2012 post, A Day In The Life at Romania’s School of Worship. 

I also wrote an extensive series of blog posts (with “behind the scenes” e-mails) so folks could have a better understanding of the work we are doing for the kingdom of God. You can read that series here – Balkans Missions Trip Report.

The School of Worship is hosted at Timisoara Christian Center & Agape Church.

Romania is one of the poorest countries in Europe and Romanian economic woes wrecked havoc on construction. The main building has been partially unfinished for many years. They still need HVAC, elevators, flooring, paint and other cosmetic finishes.

Timisoara Christian Center / Agagpe Church (back)

Timisoara Christian Center / Agagpe Church (back)

I feel very blessed to be part of what God is doing in Romania.

I really hope we can raise more money for the school in 2014 so more students can attend.

Donations from a wide range of “people who care” pays for my travel and related expenses (about $3500.00 this year). We also donate music instruments and scholarships for students. This year we really need more financial support.

DONATE HERE

Stay Updated on my 2014 Missions Trip to Romania, July 28 – August 8.

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Comments? I love comments! Leave yours below.

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of HappinessThe Declaration of Independence

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27 [NLT]