Spiritual Retreats and Worship Workshops.

Since returning to Cape Town it has been awesome being invited to teach and facilitate at various church retreats and Worship Workshops and Conferences. Whilst the retreats have only been predominantly for Men's Groups or Ministries within the ambit of Christian Spiritual Formation and male spirituality, I do also enjoy taking couples. Regarding the Worship Workshops, this can either be for the ministry itself, or a worship-leader specific in-depth practical and spiritual workshop. I look forward to hearing from you to discuss the possibilities of us getting this together for your church!

Spiritual Retreats: These range from single-day retreats to, what tends to happen mostly, those that are given over a weekend. I am able to travel should you wish me to do so.

Worship Workshops: Those that tend to work the best are given over the course of a day. Most churches tend toward that being a Saturday. What we deal with is basically discovering our highest calling and how we best serve God within that given our talents, gifting, and leadership abilities for those who have been called to lead. "The power to bless the world around you is a direct result of your ministry to the Lord" (Gerrit Gustafson). In these workshops we speak into what worship is, our calling within it, the anointing, worshipping in "Spirit and in Truth", and, among other areas, worship and the Presence of God. This normally takes until lunch-time. After lunch we get stuck into the practical side of church worship. This moves from instrumentation, vocal, harmonies, utilization of 'light and shade' in what we do, planning worship sets, best key options, and a host of other areas. I always summarise what we have learnt and mail that through in PDF format to each participant. Should you wish me to attend practices after that, I will gladly do so. I look forward to hearing from you in this regard!

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Daily Devotions by Grant Nuss
Spread the JOY around! PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Sunday, 27 November 2016 11:54

Proverbs 15:13 says that; “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face.”

“Joy is the serious business of heaven” (C.S. Lewis). I recall playing a gig in a ladies bar once and, from the stage, noticed three men and a dog playing cards. What was interesting was that the dog appeared to be winning! My curiosity got the better of me, so I walked up to the group and said; “That must be an extremely smart dog!” One of the men responded saying; “He actually isn’t that smart, because every time he gets a good hand … he wags his tail!” Now of course that is not a true story but the point is this, how often do you ‘wag your tail’? Think about this story in the context of being of joyful disposition. When you’re full of joy on the inside of you one thing is absolutely certain, it will be manifested on the outside. As we know, for a dog it’s a wagging tail, and with people, it’s a joyful face. You’ve likely heard the story: A man looked particularly angry or ‘woes’ (an Afrikaans term), so an elderly lady walked up to him, put her hands on her hips, and said; “My man, you need joy in your life!” The man looked at her and responded saying; “But I am joyful.” The lady replied; “Well then you had better tell your face that!” Proverbs 15:13 says that; “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face.” In other words, joy must first fill your heart before it can show on your face. Galatians 5:22 states that, for the follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit resides in your ‘heart’ (not the organ that pumps blood to all parts of your body) but actually at the core of your being, and produces the joy in you. When we rejoice (chairo – ‘khah'-ee-ro’) we are releasing the joy within us by an act of your will. Scripture is clear that you can rejoice all the time, no matter how difficult your circumstances. Paul tells us to; “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). Remember that God’s joy is within you - and by an act of your will you can let it out. Finally, joy is contagious, not only does it flourish within us, but it overflows. If it isn’t contagious there may be a spiritual reason for that, but, if the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in the core of you, His joy will supernaturally be the overflow in your life. So may you choose to spread it around to everyone around you, let your joy turn your mourning into dancing!

Golf on a Sunday. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Saturday, 26 November 2016 15:33

There was a pastor who just loved to play golf, but had been extremely busy for months and had not been able to get away to play let alone have a day-off. He was weary. So, one Sunday morning he woke up and felt he just HAD to go and play. The weather was just beautiful so he decided that he would go out to Atlantic Beach. Feeling really bad about it, he called up one of his elders saying that he really wasn’t feeling well. The elder said that he would preach and that the pastor should rest. So the pastor got his clubs out, dusted them off, and drove to the golf course. He teed up at the first hole (a tricky par four), making sure that no one could see him playing hooky, and drove with his new TaylorMade M2 driver. Man, he middled it straight and true. The ball bounced, and bounced (right up onto the green) and rolled its way closer … and closer … and … into the hole! A hole-in-one! Unbelievable! The pastor jumped up and down in his excitement, praising the Lord and shouting “hallelujah”! He was super-chuffed. He tees it up at the second hole a testing 172 metre par three, and, lo and behold, repeated his performance of the first hole – another hole-in-one! He was delighted to say the least. All this time Peter and God had been watching him. So Peter asked; “Lord, this pastor is playing hooky yet you reward him with a hole-in-one! Why?" God smiled, looked over at Peter and replied saying; "Well, after he finishes his game by himself, who will he ever be able to tell his story to?"

These are the days of miracle and wonder! PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Friday, 25 November 2016 16:30

2 Chronicles 5:14; “Then a billowing cloud filled The Temple of God. The priests couldn’t even carry out their duties because of the cloud - the glory of God! - that filled The Temple of God.”

“Your glory God is what our hearts long for, to be overcome by Your presence Lord” (Katie & Bryan Torwalt). This is probably more an encouragement to worship teams and leaders than it is a devotional. I have to be honest but over the past two years or so I have sensed listlessness from a worship perspective within most of the churches and denominations I have visited, preached at, and have been privileged to lead worship in. In these churches the question I get asked most after the service by leadership and team is about the glory of the Lord and His presence in corporate worship. My response invariably refers to 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 where; “They raised their voices in praise (Psalm 100:4) to the Lord and sang: 'He is good; his love endures forever.' Then the temple of the Lord was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God". Remember the story? This was a time when God's people began to praise Him at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. What we see happening is the truth that God desires to come near to us but only when we draw near to Him (James 4:8). What does that mean? That worship is not a one-sided interaction. That, while we sing, dance, raise our hands, fall face-down, or kneel and pray, God wants to reveal both Himself and some aspect of His character to us, and, as He does so, it is crucial that we respond to His presence. Perhaps like you, I often find myself in services in which little or no opportunity is provided for the church to respond to what God is doing or saying during a time of corporate worship. Some leaders will intimate that they don't want to hold up the second service, or that there just is so much on the programme, or that the message is a particularly long one that day! Fundamental to the worship ethic is a deep appreciation for the presence of God. Some churches get it but, sadly, most do not and I suspect that this is where the listlessness and even boredom sets in. Let me encourage every worship-team that may read this on my website, on Facebook, or by having it shared on your timeline, by sharing first-hand experience that, what transpired in our text today, still happens in churches here in the 21st century. Let me share a personal story with you in this context which might motivate you. Prior to coming back to South Africa and honouring the call of God on our lives into ministry, I spent time training the AOG worship teams in Tanzania truly loving driving around to the different churches with the Bishop of that area! One thing I got to understand first-hand in those churches was the true meaning of what ‘Spirit-filled worship’ is. For wont of a better word, it was ‘mind-blowing’ and life-changing! So, no sooner were we back in Cape Town when I was asked to be part of a church in Parklands’ worship team one Sunday morning and witnessed an experience I will never forget. Two bars into the opening praise song, and 2 Chronicles 5: 14 happened in the place … completely according to the text! Catch this: The entire church of around 1,500 people rushed to the front of the church and fell facedown as the Holy Spirit ministered in power. I recall the pastor whispering in my ear asking if we could just keep playing softly in the background as he was not going to be preaching, because Jesus was already ‘preaching’ out in the congregation. Lives were saved, there was deliverance, and the glory of the Lord filled the place. So to the teams out there who might be reading this piece, I guess what I am led to say here is much the same message I share with the worship teams of which I have been a part and/or mentor, God still moves in power today. Think about it: We praise (Psalm 100:4), worship (Acts 16:25-26), and come expectantly into community bringing our ‘sacrifices’ before God, and great invisible gates open welcoming us into His presence. I think Gerrit Gustafson puts this far better in words than I ever could saying; “It is if our thanksgiving and praise triggers some highly sophisticated security system, and in we go, right into the presence of the Lord!” “These are the days of miracle and wonder” (Paul Simon)! Believe it!

Every problem has an expiry date! PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Thursday, 24 November 2016 11:31

2 Corinthians 4:17; “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”

“Every problem has an expiry date” (Eurita Kagoro). We are privileged to have Eurita work for us once a week. She is on-fire for Jesus, has an anointing on her life, and I have mentioned that she should be in the pastorate! She attends the AFM church and has done for most of her life, and as we were speaking today about what we were going through, she wisely mentioned this quote. Think about it. Many people are going through hardships and problems coming from every direction, not only in this country, but globally. As we were speaking the Holy Spirit started to minister to us laying on our hearts that, when we go through problems, we recognise that they pull out of us the hidden potential we did not realise was actually within us. Likewise, often in the problem-free periods in our lives, we fail to remember how good God is until we are in the midst of difficulty. So true isn’t it? For me, Eurita’s quote is on the button, that, regardless of how big your problem may seem and how desperate and dark the situation, you need to recognise that every problem has an expiration date. Paul says to the church in Corinth in our verse today that “our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.” Perhaps you’re in a place where the only light you see is that of a train hurtling toward you in the darkened tunnel you’re in. Does that speak into your life right now?Sometimes we feel a little like David in the Psalms or Bono and U2 in their song "40" singing; "How long, to sing this song" when perhaps the expiration date of your problem is today. Nothing amazes God. It is not as if He, who too sees the metaphorical train coming, scratches His head saying; “Man, I never saw that one coming!” Nothing surprises Him. So may you remember the problems from which the Lord has already delivered you, as well as His goodness and grace poured out over you through those problems? As you do this what is clear is that, if He has delivered you from your problems before, He will certainly do it again. Paul says in our text today that what you and I are going through right now is temporary, that, the problems we face today are, quite simply, the gates for change. What do I mean? Well, when we recall the story of Job and how, like us during our times of uncertainty, he only realised who his true friends were when the chips were down in his time of arguably the greatest adversity anyone might ever face. There are sectors of Christianity who refuse to believe this today, but the fact is that Job was going through the problems, not because he was cursed, but because God was proving who was around him and who was with him. From a career perspective, if that is what you’re facing presently, think of the story of the unjust servant who had no idea how good a negotiator and sales person he was … until his boss planned to fire him! Perhaps the problems you’re facing right now are relational: well, sometimes one never knows who their Boaz or Ruth is until they get hurt in a relationship. Finally, may you choose to walk through whatever you’re facing knowing that God is in your corner, that He has got your back and you will come through it … definitely! Greater things are always ahead of you, “greater things are yet to come”! Listen to the song and interview between Chris Tomlin and Brenton Brown and Bluetree’s “God of this City.”

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