Thursday
Jun122014

Partner and Pray with Me

Wednesday
Jul102013

WORSHIP OR DIE!

Today, our conversation and discussion will be around Corporate Worship Leading. By Corporate Worship, we are talking about Public or Congregational Worship. It is different from the personal worship times you have by yourself in the woods or in your car while driving. 
I have divided Worship Leading into three segments and we will look at the Leadership through these lenses.




The conversation on CBC radio went..

Q: How would you define music in a way the hearing impaired may be able to understand?
A: Music is what it will sound like if the heart could sing.

Spiritual:
The Goal of worship leading is to connect with God

                  as well as lead and direct people to God. 



The Worshipper Connects with God:
As worship leaders, our first and foremost call is to be worshippers ourselves and secondly to include and encourage others to worship. Sometimes #2 takes precedence over #1 and we lose perspective when our priority is warped. We assess the success and failure of our worship leading based on the number of raised hands, the number of folks singing with their eyes closed, or how loud they sing. In that misconceived sense of responsibility, we get carried away thinking we need to work the crowd; thus making them to stand, raise their hands, clap etc. There is nothing wrong with loosening your congregation by doing these things, but I think sometimes it can just be the worship leader’s insecurity or growing pangs. (Psst!! I’ve been leading worship since I was a teenager ;-)


Authentic worship is contagious!

One summer afternoon in 2012, Jeff and I went for a walk to the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Park in our church hood. As we stepped into the flower garden section, our eyes feasted on the beauty of nature. The landscape and color patterns were breath taking. A stranger pulled out his odd looking little wind instrument and began playing Amazing Grace out of the blue. It was awesome…but more than that, it was a holy ground. We paused and worshipped for a moment without uttering a word.

Authentic worship is contagious.


As a Worship Leader you must be
willing to be the first one to go into the presence of God. People come to a Sunday service preoccupied with emotions, hurts, hang-ups and habits and a lack of sleep J. Not everyone comes ready to participate in worship although no doubt there is a longing to meet with God. It may not happen right away, but when you lead into the throne room of hope, forgiveness and redemption, they will follow you there sooner or later. You need to be a worship "leader" not a worship "director".

To be continued..... 

Monday
Oct222012

Here, and here

My mother, just five minutes ago asked me who my father was...
When I told her my father's name she quietly said 'it's hard to remember those things always'.
Shortly after that I asked if she knew my mother :-). She was unsure. I had to tell her her-own-name. It also became evident that she didn't really know who I was at all.

During that brief conversation, a part of me grinned in hilarious laughter while the other part of me sank into the depths of a different world. My own mother who bore and breast fed me does not recognise me.. what's wrong with that picture??

But what's in a name? Really.  
In this context, the world!!!
My name is who I am -my identity, my potential, my hopes and dreams. My name associates and defines me to every relationship I have in this world. 

My mother was officially diagnosed with Dementia /Alzheimers' disease a few years ago. Over the years, her condition has progressed toward the negative. Now her cohesiveness can be periodic and sporadic which has become the new norm. 
In life, love and safety is usually portrayed by the picture of a mother and child. But even that perfect picture can and is often shattered and shredded into pieces. Our human love, concern and even memory can take us only so far.

Today I will learn to cling to the One whose memory spans from infinity to infinity. The One that created us all 'so fearfully and wonderfully'. A mother 'may' forget her child, but our creator God knows the number of hair on our head.
Here's a song by Tommy Walker that means alot to me today.

HE KNOWS MY NAME

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go

 

Psalms 139 

Wednesday
Sep192012

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE SO STRONG

On a typical Sunday morning, the Cityview Church (my church) worship team does a sound check and run through our set list for about three quarts of an hour (we rehearse on Thursday). Then we gather at the back to pray before the church bell rings and we begin the Sunday morning worship.

One Sunday, having done the sound check and all the last minute changes and communiqué, we prayed for the service. Warren, a 4 year old who followed his mother along, automatically slipped his hands in Kevin’s and mine as soon as he heard me say ‘let’s pray’.

The image of a little hand holding a big hand stuck with me the next couple of weeks. In my mind, this picture was a contrast of the weak versus the strong, the vulnerable versus the mighty, the immature against the mature….

Which led me to ask myself ‘Visually (but Biblically), which hand would represent God’s hand and which one would be mine?’ Of course, it’s a no brainer. God is strong and I am weak.  Therefore God’s hand would be the adult strong hand holding the weak child’s (my) hand. Right?

Then I reflected on the life of Jesus…

He was born in a stranger’s manger. He lived the life of an outcast; associating himself with tax collectors, lepers and prostitutes (the untouchables). And he died a criminal’s death… a shameful death on a cross.

The Almighty reaches out to us in weakness and vulnerability… not in powerful, acrobatical glory. 

So now, should I have trouble believing that the little hand could be the hand of God reaching out to me… and you? The wobbling drunken homeless man, the shaky crack head or the itchy-nosed heroine junky…
God reaches out to us.

Aren’t we blessed to have a God who can sympathize with us (weakness, if you have one)?

Tuesday
Aug142012

Sing to the Lord a new song

 

http://soundcloud.com/lalpi/sing-to-the-lord-a-new-song/s-A3LlK

SING TO THE LORD A NEW SONG is one of the songs from my album “None but You”. I want to quickly highlight the ethnic singing that’s used here as the intro and outro (is that a word?-well now it is)

This is the style of music that I grew up with. It is called Lengkhawm, loosely translated just means gathering or visit. As a kid I remember our parents singing this kind of songs the whole night as we celebrated the Christmas season. One song can take 20 to 30 minutes before it comes to an end which will be followed by someone who will call out the words to the next song.. and off goes the khuangpu (drummer/songleader) and crowd singing the next song. And it’s amazing how one song with three or four stanzas could be sung that long. There were no musical instruments to do interludes and solos in the middle to help prolong the song except for the drums which just gave time to the song.
Animals get slaughtered in the morning for the community feast in the evening. Kids get to wear their new clothes and play with their new toys. And this is how I remember Christmas as a tribal boy!

 

In 2010 I had the privilege of being in India at Christmas after a long time. On Christmas day, a few of us got together after the feast and sang lengkhawm songs. It was a small crowd but we had a great time of worship. My iphone came in very handy. I just set it on a table to record the tunes and this one ends up being used for the song. My brother and I were the drummers..  now how cool is that!

Thank you Guwahati EBC. And thank you Jesus!