Song Story // O Come What May

Psalm 27:1-3

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

 

There are some days when it seems like everything and everyone is against you. Nothing seems to be going right, the worst possible scenarios appear to be playing themselves out, and it feels like you’re fighting all alone. The psalmist knew this feeling well. You can hear in the pangs of his writing that loneliness, persecution, and fear camped outside the door of his heart. But in the greatness of his trial, he knew that his God was greater. In the darkness, the Lord was a brighter light. In the attack, the Lord was a stronger shield. He knew that trouble, pain, and fear had no power in the presence of the Almighty.

“O Come What May” is a song that was written in celebration of this fact – because Christ is immovable, we are immovable. Whatever may come, Jesus Christ will never change. And because of the consistency of His character, and His commitment to His children, fear has no place to stand. It should not be our circumstance that defines the way we see God, but the character of God that defines the way we see our circumstance.

Any structure is only as strong as its foundation. The home I live in, the place I work in, and the stores I shop in are only standing because of the strength of their base. The greatest monuments and buildings in the world would come crashing down if their foundation was found to be unreliable. But Christ is our firm foundation! He is the Rock of our salvation! We are built on His support and it’s immovable and unshaken. And we believe that whatever may come today, His faithfulness to us will carry us through to tomorrow. In this, you must choose to be confident. "I will not fear, for You are here. Oh come what may, Jesus You stay the same."

 

Bobby Bemis is the worship leader at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale and teacher at Oceans Edge School of Worship. He is an incredible leader, discipler, musician, and songwriter. He graduated from Trinity International University and loves ice cream!

Creating A Culture Of Honor

Romans 12:10  

"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another."

Over the past year, God has been undeniably stirring our hearts to begin cultivating an intentional culture of honor in our staff and student body. We have been humbled and amazed by His blessings on the journey thus far, and we are only just beginning to realize the tremendous gift that God is granting us. I pray that as you read this, you will be stirred up to invite God to search your heart and, like we have, allow Him to remove anything that is hindering a culture of honor in your heart.

Honor is sort of an uncommon word. We hear it when talking about war veterans or in reference to how we should treat our parents, however, the practice of honor is meant to extend well past our relationships with our elders. According to the Word of God, honor should entirely shape the way we are with one another. It should be the foundation for how we form our actions, words, thoughts and decisions in all of our relationships. As we began our journey to understand and cultivate honor in our culture, His Word provided us with some building blocks about the nature of honor and how it behaves. We learned that it is kindly affectionate, humble, loving, and respectful. It considers the other person more significant and it is submissive. It is also kind, tender-hearted and forgiving. But, we soon found out that even if we set our minds and hearts to treat one another this way, we could still fall short in true honor. We realized that the only way that honor was going to be infused into our culture would be by receiving revelation from God. Honor is far more than a kind and uplifting word, or letting someone go in front of you in line, it is an entire mindset shift about the position we hold in relationship to one another and the kingdom of heaven.  

Honor is having “this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2:5) It is having the same love, thoughts, behaviors and actions toward others as Christ has for us. God began to show us that if we do not first receive and understand the position of honor that He has granted us, we will never be able to give it away. We are a lowly, rebellious, self-seeking, people who are prone to wander, yet have been given a seat at the family table of the Lord of all the earth. We have been entrusted to house His very presence in our broken, sinful bodies and are called sons and daughters with the same inheritance of Jesus Christ in His kingdom. We have been freely given His gifts, His voice, His identity, and His authority and yet we deserve none of it. If we knew that if we could just manage to comprehend the reality of honor that God has chosen to give us, we would be forever changed in awe and humility. And then, if we could fully receive the position of honor that God has granted us through His Son, everything, yes everything would be touched by it’s effects.  

God chooses to look upon us through the lens of His grace and reality of the work of Christ on the cross. He sees us perfected, no longer scarred by our sin or bound to its effects. He sees us as He created us to be; profoundly effective priests and kings, carrying His kingdom of love with great ease and yet great power to the world who does not know Him. He sees us as able, powerful, beautiful, necessary and worthy. And then He simply asks us to give the same honor away. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us.” (1 John 4:11-12) This is a primary desire of God’s heart for His people; that in all things, the measure that He has given to us, we would give to one another. 

As the revelation came, so did the evaluation. We began to allow Him to examine our hearts and our culture to expose any ways in us that were not freely bestowing honor. And although we discovered that we are miles and miles and miles away from loving like Him, we are compelled more than ever to pursue His heart and to be changed into His likeness in this area. We realize more than ever that cultivating a culture of honor is going to take work. It has to be cultivated and practiced. It needs to be a discipline and it has to be agreed upon and held accountable by all of us. But we want our culture to be on earth as it is in heaven, and the culture of heaven is a culture defined by honor.  

If you are reading this, it is not by chance. God is not only desiring for you to more fully receive the position of honor that He has granted you, but He is appointing you to grow and carry out a culture of honor in your life. Please, let us know how we can pray for you, and keep us in your prayers as we press on to know Him more.

 

Jessica Busboom is the Director of Oceans Edge School of Worship, and the Worship Leader for Eikon, both ministries of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. She is an amazing wife, friend, sister, daughter, and mentor to many. 

The Role Of A Music Director

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re about to finish a section of a song, but aren’t really sure about what comes next? You look to your fellow band-mate and they look even more confused than you do, you look to your lead singer (whose eyes are shut, and is giving you no sense of direction), and by the time the next section of the song comes everyone on the platform goes into a different part of the song. This my friends, is what we call a train wreck. One of which could’ve been easily avoided if only we had someone who would take the reins, communicate, and steer everyone in the right direction. 

The role of a music director is far greater than just being the point person on the platform. A music director translates the musical desires of a worship leader before, during, and after a worship set, bringing clear communication to musicians, singers, and at times even the production team. It’s important that a music director knows what the end goal is before these communications even start. It's much easier to effectively and clearly communicate the small steps when you know what the big picture is.

Here are a few practical tips that may help you be a more effective music director:

Establish a Language: Have you ever had to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you? I have, and it wasn’t fun. For some reason, I thought speaking slower and louder would help them understand me, but the barrier here was that we weren't speaking the same language. Making the terminology known amongst your team is extremely important in order to communicate effectively. Things such as the Nashville Number System and knowing the difference in between Stage-Right and Stage-Left (I’m still confused as to which is which) will help you communicate your vision.

Think Ahead: Remember that you are the worship leader's mouthpiece to the band when on the platform. It's your job to keep close attention to whoever is leading during the set and communicate to the band where they want to go. If the worship leader wants to repeat a section, it’s up to you to make sure the band knows, and that it's executed well. Anticipate what is about to happen so that you can clearly communicate to the rest of the team. If there is no direction from the worship leader, you'll have to take the wheel and guide the team.

Be Prepared:  As a musician, it's vital that you come to rehearsal prepared, that you know your parts, and that you are able to perform them well. As a music director, however, you'll need to know everyone else's part as well, not just your own. Make sure you take some time in the rehearsal to listen to everyone else—it’s your job to make sure the song sounds like it should.  Also, take some time to figure out what the worship leader’s vision for the set is before rehearsal, so that you’re not changing arrangements on the spot and wasting time. 

Set Your Team Up for Success: Supply resources that can help them better prepare as they practice on their own.  You want to make sure you are a good steward of your team’s time, and preparation is key to accomplish that. As much as you can, have accurate charts, MP3's, and arrangement notes available beforehand.

Relationships: This may be the most important part of being a music director. Leadership is all about relationships and showing God's love to others. When addressing your team be kind and uplifting, remembering that we are called to build people up, not tear them down. If people know that you genuinely love and care for them, they are more likely to trust and follow you. Send out a text during a week when they’re not serving just to see how things are going and if there's anything the need prayer for. Remind yourself constantly that they are more than a name filling a position on Planning Center, but a brother/sister in Christ and a child of God. Be their shepherd, and they will respect your leadership.

Lead in Christ:  Remind yourself of the why behind the what—you are helping lead God’s people into His presence. It’s important for our hearts to be in the right place as we continuously seek excellence and exalt Jesus Christ through music. Everything that we do on and off the platform must point to Christ. Don’t let the truth of His love be overshadowed by pride or arrogance, but let the love of Christ pour out of you as you lead your team. Do everything in your power and ability to give God your best—but don’t lose sight of what is most important in the process—worshipping our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus did everything well. As His disciples, we are to do the same thing, knowing that it's only by the Spirit that we're able to do so. May God be glorified in every part of our lives. Mark 7:31-37

 

Jay Alves is the Hollywood Campus Worship Leader at Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale. He is originally from Sao Paulo, Brasil and grew up in Boston, MA. He is a loving husband, father and teacher, and absolutely loves ice cream.

10 Leadership Quotes

We all need a little encouragement to keep us moving forward. It's easy to feel like we're in the struggle of pursuing our goals and dreams alone, especially leaders. Proverbs 12:25 says, "Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." In the spirit of encouragement, here are 10 leadership quotes to inspire you and help you be a better leader:

1. “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” –Harry Truman

2. “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.” –Colin Powell

3. “As leaders, we must be open to evaluation and have a constant commitment to improvement. We should not be afraid of the results of our efforts, or resistant to the instruction of others. Leaders are not lone-rangers.” –Christine Caine

4. "In leadership, success is succession. If someone coming along behind me is not able to take what I have offered and build on it, then I have failed in my responsibility to the next generation." –Andy Stanley

5. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” –John Quincy Adams

6. "A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be." –Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady

7. "Most leaders are trying to figure out the right strategy. The best leaders are obsessed with empowering the right people.” —Craig Groeschel

8. “Leaders who constantly imitate rarely innovate.” —Carey Niewhof

9. "Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." —Warren G. Bennis

10. "A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." —John Maxwell

An extra one just because...

“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” —Max Lucado


Zach Reynolds is the worship leader at the Calvary Boynton Beach campus. Zach is an excellent leader, musician, and songwriter, and he often teaches at Ocean's Edge School of Worship. Follow Zach on Twitter.

Building A Positive Culture

“Culture” is one of those buzzwords in the modern church. It can often be seen hanging around its besties: “love on somebody,” “season,” and my personal favorite, “doing life together.” We throw it around like a hot potato, and it can sometimes seem like the meaning is all but lost as it drops further and further into the abyss that is evangelical jargon. Nevertheless, positive culture is critical in fostering a healthy team dynamic.

In all reality, positive culture is a necessary element of building a healthy, invested team in any setting. I like to define culture as the shared language and attitude of your team. In its most potent form, culture is the flavor behind your conversations as a team, and it determines the attitudes regarding the everyday situations that arise as you work together. A culture of negativity generally makes attempts at encouraging conversations less effective, and difficult conversations more challenging. 

CC15-Plantation-Worship-2688 copy 2.jpg

A key to building good culture is identifying weaknesses in your team’s morale, and replacing the discouraging with the constructive. Culture is built by what we allow, both in speech and in action. Jesus was great at calling out attitudes that contradicted His way of living. In Luke 9:37, he calls His disciples an “unbelieving generation” for their lack of faith in casting out demons. He then proceeds to cast out the demons and confidently carry on… well, doing Jesus stuff! It was as if to say, “in our cadre, we believe and we trust in the Father.” Later, these same disciples who were rebuked went on to perform and believe incredible miracles through the Holy Spirit.

For us today, this often looks like calling out mentalities that contradict our desired culture. Often, people come off stage after a worship set and the very first thing they do is self-deprecate. “I totally botched that transition.” “I played some real stinkers on that one.” I’ve found that this is a form of subconscious apology, and a lack of focus as to what the goal actually is for a time of worship. So, instead of allowing this kind of speech with a “that’s okay,” I have made a conscious decision to divert the focus to what the Lord did through that time of worship or what He spoke to me. The beauty of a distinctive culture is that over time, contrary attitudes tend to protrude like sour notes. 

In a strong culture of encouragement, self-deprecating remarks (that musicians often seem to make) seem uncomfortable and unwelcome. This is not to say that we want to create protocol droids that do not speak their minds; rather, we want to create teams that echo the words and attitudes of Jesus in their conversations. In my team today, I can safely say that for the most part, people have started coming off the stage primarily with encouragement for each other and with excitement for what God did. In those little moments, you have huge opportunities to lead your team.

In what areas do you feel your team could use some more constructive or uplifting culture? How can you steer conversations and attitudes to further point to Jesus?  


Vagner Lage is our Plantation campus Worship Leader. He graduated from Southeastern University and is an avid fútbol fan, a great musician, husband, and friend. Follow him on Twitter.

My Internship With Calvary Music

Last summer, we had four interns serve with our ministry. Today's post is a reflection on what Claudia, one of our interns, learned during her time leading worship and working with us!

OE NSSN

Coming to a new church and a new culture of worship, it was only 10 months ago that I placed in-ear monitors in my ear to hear the click hit back and forth like a ping-pong match. I’ve never heard of multi tracks (loops), or “click”. or the idea that a big giant monitor wasn’t going to be on the floor in front of me. All of this was new to me. Growing up in a church where the majority of our services were unplugged was what was familiar to me. But through this new experience, I came to realize the purpose of it all. This was an example of Colossians 3:23-24:

            “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

It didn’t take me long to see how excellence is something Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale strives for as a community. After I completed my first year at Ocean’s Edge School of Worship, I got the opportunity to intern for the worship ministry. I have had the opportunity to join the worship team and see how God uses different and unique leaders to further His Kingdom.

This ministry works hard by using their gifts and working wholeheartedly. For this community, ministry is a lifestyle–a lifestyle devoted to God and committed to the obedience He calls for us to continue in (James 1:25). Not only has God showed me this through the internship, but He is also showing me that when a leader leads their team in diligent practice, it leaves room for more freedom in their worship.

It was through my experience leading at Calvary Chapel Boynton’s Night of Worship, that I got to partake in one of the most freeing worship nights of my life! I walked into the evening a nervous wreck. Thankfully, the Campus Worship Leader, Zach, told us that tonight was about freely worshiping our God. As I put my in-ears in, there was no click or loops. I realized that because the team had spent time practicing and leading together, we could go off click, and we could trust each other. If we felt led to sing another chorus or speak words for the church, we could!

I learned that the balance of both structure and freedom is essential to ministry. Through hard work and devotion to God, there is freedom in knowing that the Spirit leads. (2 Corinthians 3:17)                                             
TAKEAWAYS: Challenge yourself by practicing and working hard, but know that these things are done not for men, but for the Lord! Trust in him, and place trust in your team, so that you can let the spirit lead and you can experience freedom in your worship.


Claudia Isacc is now a second year student at Ocean's Edge School of Worship and continues to serve with the Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale worship community. 

The Collection IV

The Collection IV

A quarterly collection & review of the latest worship releases.
Special Edition: 2016 Christmas Albums.

We love listening through new worship albums. Join the conversation on Twitter by telling us your favorite songs and how they're influencing your community @_calvarymusic. Click on the titles to purchase these albums from iTunes

Abide In Him

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing . . . By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”—John 15:5-8 (NKJV)

God brings glory to Himself in many ways. Creation, beauty, and nature reveal His majesty and power (Romans 1:20). He made the earth and it exists to praise Him.

And yet, mountains and oceans weren’t made in His image, we were. Think about that. Out of all the beautiful things in the world, we were made in His reflection. The Bible says, for God’s own namesake (glory), He blots out our transgressions and forgets our sins, and He is glorified (Isaiah 43:25). He displays His glory through His love toward us. We display His glory as we abide in His love and it is there that we bear fruit.

God is glorified by the work He does in and through us as we abide in Christ. Apart from knowing Jesus, we bear no fruit, because apart from Jesus, we are dead in our sin. Apart from Jesus, we are barren branches. But the results of knowing Jesus—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—testify of God’s character and bring honor to Himself. He displays His love for humanity, that while we were sinning against Him, Jesus died on the cross to make us holy. He is proven as we abide in Him day by day, because it’s there in His presence we are transformed into His likeness. We are then a living story of God’s faithfulness; we change.

In Christ, we are alive; we’re no longer slaves to our sin, our fear, or ourselves anymore. We become children of God. Children who love to do what pleases their Father.

The Message translation of today’s verse puts it like this, “I am the Vine, you are the branches . . . This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.” The world will see that God is who He says He is through the fruit He produces in us as we draw near to Him. Great things are accomplished when we abide in Jesus.

DIG: What has God produced in you that brings glory to Himself?
DISCOVER: Pray and ask God, “Do You love me?” “How do I abide in You?” “What do You have for me to do?” Listen to what He has to say.
DISPLAY: Share with a friend a testimony of God’s faithfulness and what He’s done in or through you.


Nia is our social media + web content coordinator, as well as a worship leader and writer. She is fascinated with art and the powerful vessel it is for the Gospel. Learn more about Nia.

Everyone Is Accepted

“But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.”—Acts 10:35 (NKJV)

The religious systems that were active during the time of Jesus were primarily based in familial and racial heritage. People’s religious beliefs were handed to them at birth as a part of their identity, and their lives were largely structured around the religious customs passed down through the generations. Religious identity was chiefly determined in a person’s blood line, not by a choice of faith.

In Acts Chapter 10, the Jewish apostle Peter is sent by God to deliver the gospel to a Gentile Roman centurion and his family. When he arrives at the centurion’s household, Peter says to him, “You know that it is unlawful for a Jewish man to associate with or befriend a Gentile, or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I am not to call anyone common or [ceremonially] unclean” (Acts 10:28 AMP).

Here we get a glimpse into the division caused by exclusivity in religion and race. However, the gospel of Jesus shook up and challenged these religious and racial systems by making the Christian faith uniquely inclusive to all people. His death and resurrection provided salvation to all, no matter their race, religion, or heritage. Peter goes on to say to the centurion, “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35 NKJV).

We may not find these same racial and religious divides in our culture, but exclusion from the gospel is often found in our judgment of one another and of ourselves. We exclude one another based on moral uprightness, works, and the appearances of holiness. And even more than that, we exclude ourselves from the gift of grace given to us in Christ because we know our own wickedness and identify ourselves by it. But praise be to God! In the same way that Jesus tore down the walls of race and religion, He tore down the walls of moral perfection found in the law and gave an entirely free gift of acceptance to all who will simply believe.

DIG: Evaluate your own heart. Have you received the fullness of God’s grace for yourself? Do you extend that same grace to all others?
DISCOVER: Read Romans 8. Allow the reality of God’s grace for sin to impact your heart again.
DISPLAY: Repent for any unrighteous judgment found in your heart toward yourself or another. By faith, receive His acceptance of you and pray that He would give you the ability to love yourself and others as He does.


Jessica is the Director at Ocean's Edge School of Worship, where we are raising up and discipling the next generation of worship leaders, song-writers and musicians for the furtherance of the gospel. Learn more about Jessica.