Retaining a Heart of Worship :: PODCAST

Presented by Pastor Steve Shields at Curwensville Alliance Church on 9/3/2017.

A couple of decades ago, I read these words from Fred Craddock.

Once in a while we have a seminarian who gives it up. Not suddenly but slowly; zeal cools, faith weakens, appetite for Christian enterprises disappears, the springs dry up, the soul is parched, and you can see it in eyes grown dull and flat. What happened? Did evil storm his citadel and take over? No. Did much study drive him to doubt? No. Did attractive alternatives to ministry turn his head? No. Nothing quite so dramatic. He simply made the fatal error of assuming that spending so much time talking about God was adequate substitute for talking with God. He lost his Doxology, and died.[1]

At first, you might be surprised by those words. But then, when you think it through, you realize the universality of this danger. If we lose our heart of worship, then, spiritually, we become very unhealthy.

In this podcast, I relay some of Jesus’ directives on retaining — or renewing — your heart of worship.
– Pastor Steve

[1] As One without Authority, Fred, Craddock, p. 135.


Finding a New Start :: PODCAST

Presented January 1, 2017 at Curwensville Alliance by Pastor Steve Shields

So, this week, Carrie Fisher died. Immediately, my Facebook feed filled up with statements like this…

And now we have to add Princess Leia and George Michael to the list of icons we lost. 2016 needs to stop already. #TheWorst.

The next day, Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds died. Someone else posted…

Noooooooooooooo! 2016 is going out horribly!

Personally, I don’t understand why people grieve celebrity deaths with such feeling. Don’t get me wrong. I understand grief. I’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death with many-a-soul. But lamenting the death of someone as distant from you as Debbie Reynolds while people you know personally are facing the same kinds of things – that’s just weird to me. 

It feels artificial, especially when I think of the genuine loss many of you have faced this past year. some of you have lost loved ones. Others have been made aware of their own mortality, by learning they have life-threatening conditions. Some have seen their family fractured.

Those kind of things tend to bring about a grief that runs deep. And they can make it hard to face the future – to face a new year.

In this podcast, I want to remind you of a major theme that runs through the Bible. The theme of Re-Creation.

-Pastor Steve