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
Two are better than one PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Sunday, 22 June 2008 16:53

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.” 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (The Message)“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” 

What would life be without friends? Have you ever thought about it? To me, it would be pretty rotten too say the least. Trusted friends are obviously those with whom you want to spend most of your time, to have them around for a meal, and just enjoy being in their company. We all need trusted friends to help us keep our priorities straight.  

Godly friendship is priceless. This type of friendship has the benefit of producing strength. Strength in unity, strength in faith, strength in support, strength in safety, and strength in love. As the passage says ‘two are better than one’, and, to coin an age-old phrase, ‘two heads are better than one’.  

The strength of Christian friendships depends on the level to which we are able to fellowship together, worship together, laugh together, cry together, grieve together, share together, break – bread together, commiserate with one another, and rejoice together. That is true Christian friendship. However, this friendship is only as strong as the parties are able to share their struggles, weaknesses, and failures which ultimately take our friendships to a completely different level.  

Above all though, let us make every effort to spend time with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, if one of us falls, let us not compare, condemn, and criticize, but rather let us restore one another in a spirit of gentleness, and bear our burdens together.      

A readers response PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 18 June 2008 06:47

I had a welcome response to the devotional entitled “A check – up from the neck – up” from someone who needed an explanation on my comment that “when Jesus is lifted up, then God comes down to interact with His children.” 

Well, in Psalm 22:3 we read that the Lord “inhabits the praises of His people.” In other words, wherever He is praised and lifted up, His presence is made real and flows in the service touching and changing hearts, renewing minds, molding, shaping, guiding, and refreshing weary souls. Importantly though, one of the key ingredients is for the congregation to be people of prayer, with spiritual commitment, and, ultimately, a desire to participate faithfully.

The old landlord PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Tuesday, 17 June 2008 15:29

Reading Romans 7 last night reminded me of a booklet given to me shortly after my being born again called “The Old Landlord” which talks about how, after accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour, He becomes our “New Landlord”. Our old landlord, being Satan, however, continues to come knocking for “his share of the rent” not being prepared to relinquish his hold on us without a fight, believing he still has rights to our souls. 

The war between flesh and Spirit is a choice that we are faced with daily solely because we live in both dimensions, in the world, and also walking in the Spirit. Even though we may heed the conviction of the Holy Spirit and choose against the flesh, we still remain captive to sin. The constant presence of the Holy Spirit and the will to overcome our sin enables us to experience redemption and salvation, but unfortunately does not stop the onslaught. Sin and the old landlord will continue to come knocking at our door. 

As we continue to yield more of our will to the Holy Spirit by obedience, when we do stumble, we are able to confess our sins, receive forgiveness, and keep moving forward, fully knowing that one day we will be free of sin’s influence. For now though, we fight as hard as we can against the Enemy’s advances and try to lessen the instances that we buckle and give in, we eventually find that we begin to overcome a whole lot more than we did previously, and the instances of stumbling become further apart the longer we hold out. 

Prayer:Lord Jesus, we pray for a measure of Your strength to help us stand up to, and refute the challenges of Satan. We long to do what is right, and long to rid ourselves of the guilt that comes along with every sinful act. We cannot do it on our own. But, with You there to support us, and the conviction of Your Holy Spirit, we will triumph giving all glory, honour, and praise to You our Saviour, Redeemer, and Friend. Amen.

A "check - up" from the "neck - up" PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 16 June 2008 09:02

I was reminded of something I read whilst in Ghana which led to this devotional. A ten year old boy wrote to his pastor saying, "Dear pastor, everybody says amen after your sermon because they're glad it's over." The well – known story of the mother who turns to her child during the worship service saying, "If you don't behave yourself, I'll bring you here again", also comes to mind. For a number of people, Church and the worship service as a whole is just that, something that has to be endured. 

Perhaps the solution lies in the example of the young girl overheard kneeling at her bedside praying; “Dear God, we had a good time at church today, but I wish You had been there!”  

Those of us who feel the anointing and presence of the Holy Spirit as our worship leaders lead us in praise and worship, as we listen to God's word preached, or join together in prayer, and have a real sense of the living God present with us, often may take this for granted when considering the experiences noted above.  

A definition of the anointing may be a good place to start. “It is a special, sovereign activity of the Holy Spirit that accompanies and empowers the life of a Christian, enabling him to be spiritually effective in his impact and influence on those around him.” This definition I read in an amazing book entitled “Rise Up – Breaking Free into Anointed Living” by Dr. Anthony Jinwright. 

Jinwright goes on to say; “”But the anointing is more than emotive rhetoric. It is not a “Pentecostal thing”, or a “black thing”; it is a “God thing!”  He concludes with;“The Spirit’s anointing is real. It isn’t a result of emotional manipulation or mass psychology. The anointing is a demonstration of spiritual reality. It can’t be faked or mimicked. The anointing is a reflection of what goes on behind the scenes; it demonstrates God’s willingness to bless His children and the intense prayer, submission, and spiritual preparation of a Christian’s heart. What is revealed daily is the alignment of the believer’s heart and spirit with the sovereign purposes of the Lord.” 

Jesus “the Christ” was taken from the Greek christos – “the anointed one” when the Hebrews hopes of the anointed Son of David were fulfilled. So, when the servants, the messengers, the leaders, the elders, the members are Christ – centred, lives are changed. “When Jesus is lifted up,( the anointing of) God comes down to interact with His people.” 

Finally, Sally Morgenthaler, a renowned worship leader in the United States to whose writings I turned when the Lord put me into worship leading in Lagos, had this to say which, to me, makes a stack of sense;

 “The hour or so we spend at services like these (those mentioned above) will most likely be glutted with polished performances and pedestal personalities. Our emotions will be tapped by well – planned musical sequences and seques, culturally correct humour, pithy anecdotes, and well – rehearsed humility. We will have our brains stuffed with information about how to make life work and how to work harder at life. Most likely, we will leave feeling good about ourselves. But one thing we will not have done: We will not meet with God. A true encounter with God leaves us a lot more than good feelings. It leaves us with changed hearts and calls us to changed lives. Very simply, to experience God’s presence is to be transformed from the inside out.”  

To conclude; it is for us as Christians to consider whether our Church membership, wherever that may be in the world, resembles that of a social club, or that of a participative, dynamic, loving, Christ – centred, uncritical , part of the Church that God would wish it to be. For the majority of us in the greater Church today, we would need to spend an hour or two with the Lord looking introspectively at our hearts and our involvement within our respective Churches today. To give ourselves a “check – up from the neck – up.” Hopefully, we will come away realising that we all fall short of the goal. Perhaps it will be revealed to us that we need to criticise less, be less status conscious, being that we only mix with the “have’s” and forego spending time with the “have not’s”, and that we need to share the love of Christ with friends, family, and strangers alike ultimately lifting Jesus up.     


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