Thursday, August 27, 2015

Free eBook on Bible translations

Ever wonder which Bible translation you should use? Or why did they choose that word in that passage? Or how will studying this translation help in my teaching preparation?

Here is a link to a free eBook (provided by Lifeway) which helps answer some of those questions. All you have to do to download this free eBook is fill out a simple form.

Hope this helps.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Sacrifice That Gets You Everything

March 9, 2014, was a very interesting day for me. Our pastor was away in Israel on a special Christmas present trip from the church. So one of our church members (who is a former preacher) was filling in for him preaching that morning.

However, he had just been in the hospital one week before, and trying to preach Sunday morning was more than he could handle. During our first service, as he wrapping up his message (very quickly, I might add), I knew that this morning would be a little different than I planned. I knew I would have to preach for him during the second service.

It was 9:30 am, and I had a little over 1 hour to prepare a sermon for 11 am.

So, I did what most church staff would do in this situation - I drew upon what God had been speaking to me recently.

March 5, 2014, marks the beginning of the season of Lent - a 40-day preparation time for Easter. Now I'm not one that usually joins in with more "liturgical" styles of worship and offerings. However, this year my wife and I have been talking a lot about the idea of self-denial and what Lent is all about.

So that's what I preached on!

I've decided not only to practice self-denial during Lent (by giving up carbonated beverages - especially hard for me with my dear love of Mountain Dew) but also to replace that sacrifice with scripture and meditation. You can find my reading plan here.

So here is the basic gist of my sermon that Sunday morning: (you can watch the entire 30+ minute sermon here.)

Luke 9:21-27

And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”

1) Prepare for Suffering

If we identify with Christ (who suffered beatings, betrayal, whippings and crucifixion), we WILL have suffering.

2) Practice Self-Denial

God doesn't want us to be unhappy, but He DOES want to be on the throne of our lives. We must supplant anything that takes precedence over Christ.

3) Preserve Your Soul

We are more than our 70 or so years on Earth. We are eternal beings that must either choose to follow Christ or reject Him. Choosing Christ will save your soul but will also require you to give up control.

4) Proclaim the Savior

Don't be bashful about whom you serve. If Christ is your everything, let people know!

That's the Clif Notes version. Hope it serves as something for you to chew on this Easter/Lent season.

Late Worship Service (03-09-14) from Matthew Cobb on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Me leading worship (March 2, 2014)

This is video of the two morning services that I lead worship in. These were recorded March 2, 2014. Normally there would be a full praise band (with drums, piano and 3 more vocalists) and choir and organ in the second service. However, we had a bunch of snow and ice come through that morning, which hurt our attendance. But it was still a great service. Enjoy!

Early Worship Service (03-02-14) from Matthew Cobb on Vimeo.

Late Worship Service (03-02-14) from Matthew Cobb on Vimeo.

Friday, November 1, 2013


What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

Throughout the books of 1 and 2 Kings, the stories of the kings of Israel and Judah are chronicled. Most of the kings have this said about them: they did not follow the Lord with all their heart.

Now, you cannot make a decision for your child nor can you be responsible for their actions. However, what kind of tale do you want for the future generations to say about your life?

I choose to strive to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. And let that be the legacy of my life. And I pray that will be the decision and action of my children and generations to come.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Leading Worship

I haven't posted a recent sample of me leading worship, so I thought it about time.

These are complete service videos from the church where I currently serve as Minister of Music/Education. There is a wide range of styles, from full band in the early service to choir, piano and organ in the late service to a more simple style of me and the guitar in evening service.


Early Worship Service (09-29-13) from Matthew Cobb on Vimeo.

Late Worship Service (09-29-13) from Matthew Cobb on Vimeo.

Evening Worship Service (09-29-13) from Matthew Cobb on Vimeo.

The waiting...

A year in the waiting...

I know that my website does not get "lots" of traffic (or any traffic for that matter.) But I have decided that I am going to change my posting habits.

This is probably the third or fourth time that I've posted something like this. And it's starting to sound like the diet that I will start or the exercise routine I need to begin or the New Year's Resolution that I know I will keep this time.

But I have a slightly different motivation this time.

This time I feel like God is asking me to simply share my all its disorganized and stream-of-consciousness glory. goes. This will be the record of my crazy thoughts about God, life, family, worship, ministry, education, government, and on and on. Anything and everything will be fair game, and I'll let God use it however he chooses.

Here's to (another) new beginnings!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Loss of innocence

We all have times in our lives where information leaves us forever changed. We can't "un-learn" or "un-hear" whatever has been revealed to us. And in that moment, a piece of innocence is taken from us.

Now, not all of these instances are bad. For example: learning that the stove is hot (hopefully not from touching it) will help us avoid getting burned in the future. But other times, we don't always want hear that dirty joke at the water cooler. Or we don't want to see that image from a Victoria's Secret commercial. But once it's in our brain, it is virtually impossible to "forget" that information - and we move from innocence to influenced.

I recently experience something like this in my current running program. Up until about a week ago, I never really kept track of how many times I was running or walking within a given day's workout. It may sound ridiculous, but I would input the schedule into my phone's workout timer app, and then start my workout. The app counts down the last 10 seconds of each interval, and then tells me what I'm supposed to do next (i.e. - run, walk or warm down.) Since I never really knew how far into the workout I was, I just did what I was told and gave it my all, regardless of how tired my muscles may have been. And actually, not knowing what was up ahead caused me to think about working out differently. Rather than thinking, "It hurts. I'm so glad I'm on my last set." my thoughts would be, "It hurts. But I can do one more set if I need to."

But then the bomb was dropped on me.

She wasn't trying to steal away my innocence, but Jill, my wife, casually mentioned, "I'm so glad we only have 5 times that we're running during the workout."

And then it was gone.

No longer was I constantly focused on my ability to get one more set if I needed to. Now I was always ticking down the number of times, just longing to be finished. Somehow, my mindset shifted from the process to the product.

I've managed to regain a bit of the former mindset while working out, but the challenge exists to overcome my naturally tendencies.

I think we struggle with this a lot in our spiritual lives as well.

We may be cruising along with Jesus in a great place where we are focused on the next step. We are blissfully unaware of how much is required of us, and so we simply do what we're told and think, "I can do this some more if I need to."

But usually the bomb drops at some point. It may come in many different forms, but we'll never be the same afterward. We may have been betrayed by a trusted Christian friend; or a closed spiritual mentor may have a major sin exposed; or it may simply be our own temptation to control that steals away our innocent, child-like, love-relationship with Jesus.

And then it is gone.

We can try to regain some of the former mindset, and we may even come close to the same experience, but we will never be the same again.

This may seem like a negative thing on the surface, but if we take the time to step back and look at the bigger picture, we will often find that through these times of innocence lost, it challenges us to search deeper into our relationship with Jesus. And THAT is great thing!!