Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Being "Steadfast" is Part of Your Job Description

It's difficult being a Christian these days. Our culture is moving toward a climate where standing up for Jesus, for the bible and for God makes us "judgmental" and "intolerant." After all, it's not politically correct these days to suggest that your way of doing anything is better than anyone else's or that someone else's opinion isn't just as valid as yours, especially when it comes to religion.
It's interesting, but I don't recall Jesus' promising us that following him would be easy and make us popular all the time. What he did say, however, was that he was the only way, the only truth and the only life -- not exactly a politically correct statement for his contemporaries, either.
Many churches today are making compromises when preaching about the truths of Christianity to make the message a little friendlier, a little more tolerant, a little less judgmental sounding in the hopes of attracting and keeping large numbers in their services. I believe, however, that the only way to true fellowship and worship in our church services is for the leaders to remain steadfast.
Should we make our services interesting and non-threatening to attract those who otherwise wouldn't attend church? Yes! Should we make them creative and visually stimulating to attract youth? Yes! Should sermon series be based on things important in contemporary culture to entice regular attendees to invite their friends, neighbors and family members? Yes! But should any part of God's message be altered or omitted to accomplish those goals? No, never. In fact, in the psalms, we see a promise that remaining steadfast will result in the bursting forth of worship. Don't compromise. Stand unwavering in the truth of Jesus and his word because if you are involved in leading worship at your church, part of your job description is to be steadfast.
"My heart is steadfast, O God,
My heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.
Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples."
(Psalm 57:7-9 NIV)

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The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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