Music Monday: Introduction

I don’t know about you, but God often speaks to me through music. I’m not sure what it is, but there are times when I can just so clearly hear God speaking when I am singing and worshipping Him. Maybe it is that sincere focus on Him and nothing else. Maybe it is a connection made possible by my worship of Him. Maybe it is because I am able to remove the distractions of this world during those times. Whatever it is, I can readily think of a number times when God has spoken to me through music. Here are a couple of the stories.

Clean Hands: This January I had the chance to attend CPC for free. The conference was great, but perhaps the best moment came during the final general session of the week. The organizers of the conference surprised us all when Charlie Hall came on the stage to lead worship for us. As Charlie Sang, “Give us Clean hands” God showed me how my ministry had become an idol in my life. You can read the entire post

My Call: I couldn’t tell you the song that was playing, but I can distinctly remember when, during the response time at a weekend service at my church, God called me to ministry. I can’t really describe it other than to say that in that moment I knew I that God was calling me to ministry and that I needed to go up in front of our church and share it with the Pastor and with the church.

Starting today, I each week I will share a song and how God has spoken to me through it. My hope is that God will use this to speak to you as well.

I would love to hear how God has spoken to you through music. Leave a comment below to share your stories.

Matt Norman

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Pursuing Your Calling: Overview

Since being called to ministry a few years ago I have intermittently struggled with this call. I have struggled with IF God had actually me. I have struggle with WHAT He was calling me to. I have struggled with WHERE He was calling me to serve. I have struggle with HOW He was calling me to serve. I have struggled with WHO He was calling me to serve. I have struggled with WAITING on God to fulfill his call. I have struggled with PURSUING the call that I felt on my life. These struggles have lead to a series where I explored some of the areas where I struggle and seek to help others work through this struggle. This series has proven to be the most popular series have ever written. In fact the single most popular post ever posted on my blog came through this series.

Here is a complete list of all of the posts from that series.

Pursuing Your Calling: How do I Know I’m Called?

Pursuing Your Calling: “Come, follow me, and…”

Pursuing Your Calling: The Spirit of God

Pursuing Your Calling: Light of the World

Pursuing Your Calling: Destination Unknown

Pursuing Your Calling: Christ’s Protege

Pursuing Your Calling: Running VS Pursuing

Pursuing Your Calling: Waiting on God

Pursuing Your Calling: Introduction

 

Matt Norman

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Book Review: “More of Less”

While at the 2013 Orange Conference I was given a book called More or Less by the folks in the David C Cook booth. At first glance this seemed like a strange title for a book, but since it was FREE I decided I would read it. Later in that conference the author of the book, Jeff Shinabarger, sat on stage with Reggie Joiner and talked about the book and some of the experiences that inspired the book. Here are my thoughts on the book.

  • Readability: This book is writen in a very conversation tone that I greatly enjoy. This makes this book much easier and much more enjoyable to read. It was much more like sitting down with the author while he told you these stories than reading from a text book.
  • Content: The content was very relevant to today’s world. It can be an inspiration for people in ministry as much as those not in ministry. It applies to those that call themselves Christians and those that do not. Nearly every person that reads this book can find themselves within it’s pages.
  • Overall Impression: As a pastor I found this book to be inspirational. As a parent I found this book to be inspirational. As an American I found this book to be an inspiration. As a human being I found this book to be inspirational. Basically if you are alive this book has the ability to speak to you.
  • Summary: The author takes us on a journey to that led him to realize just how much excess he actually had. We then read about how he used some of his excess to help others. He also introduces us to several other people that used their excess to change the world around them. In America we tend to look at people who have MORE than we have and then assume that we don’t have enough. Our gut reaction is to say that we do not have excess. However, the truth is that nearly every person in America has excess. This book will help you to see your excess and will inspire you to use it to change the world around you.

WARNING: If you are not ready to have your world view rocked, then don’t read this book. If  you are not ready to take a serious look at yourself and your priorities, then don’t read this book. If you are ready to see the needs of the people around you like you have never seen them before, then don’t read this book. However, if you are ready to do all of these things and want to be inspired to help change the world around you, then this is the book for  you.

Matt Norman

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Pursuing Your Calling: How Do I Know I’m Called?

I have done a number of posts on the topic of pursuing your calling. I have found this to be my most popular series. This morning I want to look at how can know that we are called.

Moses knew he was called when he heard a voice coming from a bush that burned, but was not consumed. (1)

Abraham knew he was called when an ANGEL visited him. (2)

David knew he was called when the prophet Samuel showed up and anointed him to be the next king of Israel. (3)

The disciples knew they were called when JESUS CALLED THEM!!! (4)

Saul knew he was called when he was stricken blind by the glory of JESUS. (5)

Despite these many Biblical examples of how God called people, I have never heard of anyone that was called to ministry in such a dynamic way. I have spoken with people who have audibly heard the voice of God, but never in relation to their call to ministry. So, if God called these men in so clear a way, and God does not change (6),then why is God not calling us in such an undeniable way? Why am I not hearing the voice of God calling me to ministry?

I DON’T KNOW!!

The truth is that I don’t know why God chose to call these men so directly, and yet does not call us this way. What I do know is that when He called me I could not deny it. In that moment I was certain that GOD was calling me to full time ministry. That was 5 years ago and still I work a full time job outside of ministry. As I look back, I can’t help but have some level of doubt. IF this is what God has called me to, then why is He not letting me do it. Is it even God who is holding me back, or is it me? Was God calling me to something different than what I thought He was calling me to?

I DON’T KNOW!!

If you clicked on this post hoping that I might have some answers for your own questions or doubts about your own calling, then I apologize. I truly wish I had answers to give you. While I can’t offer you answers, what I can offer is to travel this journey with you. You see if you are struggling with God’s call on your life, then you and I are in the same boat and we can ride out this storm together. If this is you and you want to join me as I work through this, let me know. You can leave a comment below or use the email link at the top of the page.

If you have been where I am right now and have worked through this, then I would love to hear from you as well. I would love to hear what you learned and how you worked through it. Leave a comment below, or use the email link at the top of the page to connect with me.

Thanks, and I hope that together we can work through this to become stronger ministers for The Kingdom of God.

Matt Norman

Thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. To ensure that you never miss a post subscribe using the space on the right side of the screen.