John Wade used to tell the story of a man who lost his sense of being close to God. He made a pilgrimage to Mt Sinai and stood on the mountainside, while asking God to send him a sign. He was waiting for something spectacular like lightning, smoke or a mighty voice. He waited for hours on his knees and nothing happened. On the verge of giving up, he looked toward the ground and saw a small violet that had just come into bloom. He remembered that the day he left his daughter had given him a handful of violets taken from the many that grew at his door. Then the idea came to him that God was close to him as the violet and he did not need to make along pilgrimage to find him. Do you feel far from God? He may be closer than you think.

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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An older lady, who had no affinity for con­temporary worship, was complaining about a particular song used in the worship service at her church. A fellow worshipper responded, “Why, that is not a new song – it is a very old song! David sang that song to Saul.” The older lady replied, “Well now, for the first time, I understand why Saul threw the javelin at him when he sang.”

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The smallest Indian reservation in North America belongs to the Mattaponi tribe in eastern Virginia. The reservation consists of only 125 acres. The Mattaponi signed a treaty with the Virginians in 1646. The treaty provided for an annual visit by the tribe to the governor of Virginia to renew their pledge of loyalty. They have kept that practice to this very day. Every year the Mattaponi appear before the governor of Virginia. They bring him gifts of fish and fowl as prescribed by the treaty – and they declare their loyalty. We do something like that when we come to church. We bring our gifts, and we declare our loyalty to the Christ who governs our lives.

-Robert Shannon, Preaching March/April 1999

 

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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President
Theodore Roosevelt was known to go to church and sing the hymns
louder than anyone else. This led to a story that made the rounds
during his administrations. Recorded by Paul Boller Jr., the story
imaginedRoosevelt on his first day in heaven. Roosevelt went to
St. Peter and said, “Your choir is weak, inexcusably weak. You should
reorganize it at once.” St. Peter suggested that Roosevelt organize it.

“Well,” he said, “I’ll need ten thousand sopranos, ten thousand altos, and ten thousand tenors.”

“But what about the basses?” asked St. Peter?

“Oh,” said the president, “I’ll sing bass.”

_______________
J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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In Experience
God in Worship
George Barna observes the contemporary Christian’s view of
worship: “Most adults will contend that a Christian has a responsibility
to worship God. However, when asked to define what worship means, two out of
three are unable to offer an appropriate definition or description of worship.

“Even among the people who consistently attend Christian worship services,
apparently for the purpose of worshiping God, the majority does not consider
worship to be a ‘top priority’ in their lives. It need not be the top priority;
but most of them do not even include it among a laundry list of top priorities.”

He goes on to reveal the true motivation behind many American Christian’s attendance
at worship services. He says it’s to “satisfy or please them, not to honor
or please God” (p. 15). We must be cautious of turning our worship and
religion into a man-centered selfish pursuit. Worship has always been and will
always be about God – whether we recognize it or not. For in the end “at
the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth
and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-11).

_______________________________

Preaching
September/October 2002

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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“True biblical worship
so satisfies our total personality that we don’t have to shop around for man-made
substitutes.”

 – Warren W. Wiersbe

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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Humans tend to
worship what is seen and often what appeals to emotion. The golden calf represented
an Egyptian fertility cult. Recall that while the people were in the wilderness
God alone provided all that they needed to eat and drink. Rejecting God’s promises,
they chose to bow down to an idol that falsely gave them a sense of control.
Idol worshipers believed that a god had to be manipulated in order to respond.

The true God is
very different! He is the only God, not one among many. He is a personal God,
not a dead piece of wood or metal. He is the Creator of all, not merely a god
of a river or a mountain. He acts in history and directs people; He is not manipulated
by perverse rituals! And finally, He is a holy God who makes moral demands on
His people.

 – Today in the Word,
Dec. 2003, p.11

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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A.W. Tozer describes
the impact of the Fall on worship in a poetic and poignant way: “Man was
made to worship God. God gave to man a harp and said, ‘Here above all the creatures
that I have made and created I have given you the largest harp. I put more strings
on your instrument and I have given you a wider range than I have given to any
other creature. You can worship Me in a manner that no other creature can.’
And when he sinned, man took that instrument and threw it down in the mud and
there it was lain for centuries, rusted, broken, unstrung.”

Today In The Word,
Dec. 2003, p.8

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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In Experience God in Worship, George Barna observes the contemporary Christian’s
view of worship: “Most adults will contend that a Christian has a
responsibility to worship God. However, when asked to define what worship
means, two out of three are unable to offer an appropriate definition or description
of worship.

“Even among the people who consistently attend Christian worship services,
apparently for the purpose of worshiping God, the majority does not consider
worship to be a ‘top priority’ in their lives. It need not be the top priority;
but most of them do not even include it among a laundry list of top
priorities.”

He goes on to reveal the true motivation behind many American Christian’s
attendance at worship services. He says it’s to “satisfy or please them,
not to honor or please God” (p. 15). We must be cautious of turning our
worship and religion into a man-centered selfish pursuit. Worship has always
been and will always be about God — whether we recognize it or not. For in the
end “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven
and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-11).

Check out more great articles

About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The smallest Indian reservation in North America belongs to the Mattaponi tribe
in eastern Virginia. The reservation consists of only 125 acres. The Mattaponi
signed a treaty with the Virginians in 1646. The treaty provided for an annual
visit by the tribe to the governor of Virginia to renew their pledge of
loyalty. They have kept that practice to this very day. Every year the
Mattaponi appear before the governor of Virginia. They bring him gifts of fish
and fowl as prescribed by the treaty — and they declare their loyalty. We do
something like that when we come to church. We bring our gifts, and we declare
our loyalty to the Christ who governs our lives.

Check out more great articles

About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The minister was early for the service, but there was one person already there.
She was sitting in the back pew, at the end of the pew, half asleep. He went
over and teased her about getting her nap finished before he began to preach.
“This is the only place I can get any rest,” she said. At first he
thought she meant she had back trouble and the contour of the added pew gave her
relief. But as they talked on he realized she meant something else. She worked
a full time job outside the home and cared for all the household duties in the
home. When she came to church it was the only time she could get any rest. Many
have experienced this, not in terms of physical rest but in terms of spiritual
and emotional rest. Guilt-laden people say, “This is the only place I can
get any rest.” Sorrow-laden people say, “This is the only place I can
get any rest.” Worried people say, “This is the only place I can get
any rest.” Even people in physical pain find some relief in worship! As an
old hymn says, “O Love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in
Thee.”

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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