Archives For worship

We All Worship!

November 18, 2015 — Leave a comment

worship2On a recent trip to Europe, we visited several old cathedrals, cemeteries, art galleries, museums, and other old buildings. For thousands of years people of different races and nationalities across many countries and continents have been worshipping God as they understood him in ways that seemed right in their culture and held meaning for them.

There is something within each of us that longs to know something greater than ourselves. That longing within is a desire/need/bent to worship.

Long ago, young Josh led his people into the land of inheritance they had been promised long before. When they began to settle in, he challenged those people to not forget the One who had led them during their travels and many conquests. And told them, as well, to choose who they were going to worship.

That’s key in all this worship talk – we get to choose who/what we are going to worship.

Choose wisely, young student!

 

A Child of the King

February 4, 2015 — Leave a comment

kingHow would your relationship with the king change if you discovered that you were actually the long-lost heir to the monarchy? Would that relationship change?

If you suddenly realized that your father was the king, rather than the middle-class man you always thought him to be, after the immediate shock of the discovery I would think you would treat him in more of a royal manner.

Listen to these words from Paul as he writes to the Galatian church: “Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” (Galatians 4:7 NLT)

An older hymn sung in the church actually centered on this very fact.

Is Paul lying here? I don’t think so.

And if, indeed we are children of the king and heirs to his Kingdom, then perhaps we should begin acting as such.

How does this knowledge change your thinking?

Without becoming obnoxious, how can you begin to live as a child of the king?

 

Worship “Styles”

January 28, 2015 — Leave a comment

danceI recently had a good friend say to me, “You know, I’m just not a hands-in-the-air kind of worshipper.” I wish I had replied with some deep, profound piece of wisdom. Instead I think I said something like, “Yeah.”

You know, worship is such a personal thing – it’s kind of like the way you like your coffee. Way back when I was in the military I took my coffee with lots of cream and sugar. That could have been because I was a heavy smoker at the time and my taste buds were either destroyed or highly coated with nicotine – or something. Now I take my coffee with a splash of cream, cause I’ve learned to enjoy the different & unique flavors of the different roasts and types of beans.

So, to me, worship is kinda the same way. You may be a hands-up-in-the-air worshipper, or you may be a quiet, reserved, hands-to-the-side with just the finger-tips raised sort. Neither is right, neither is wrong.

As long as you’re worshipping – that’s the key.

You know, it’s hard for those on the platform to gauge whether they are connecting with you or not based on your physical movements and appearance. In much the same way, it’s just as difficult for the speaker to know whether or not they are connecting with the audience based solely on the reaction they are getting. If they relied only on audience reaction, they might become stand-up comedians.

I also think of worship “style” in dance terms. Some like ballet, some are full-on, mash pit jumpers. Some like the ballroom moves, some prefer the moves from the 60s, while others prefer the slow dance.

So how do you dance with the One you worship?

Keep dancing my friends.

 

power_of_musicFirst, let me just say, I know that the title is poor grammar. But that’s the topic for another blog post. The question is true just the same.

We used to ask who was in your CD player – now it’s probably more like who’s in your Spotify playlist, Pandora channel or iTunes playlist? And that’s a great conversation to have. We now have access to more music most of the time than in any previous generation.

Music can have a profound impact on the generation that’s tuning in. Just ask those who grew up during World War II and the generation that followed. The music of the 50s, 60s & 70s nearly defined that generation.

In much the same way, Seattle garage music helped define another generation. Will you be defined by what you listen to? OR will your definition be more complicated?

So is your playlist filled with noise or are you actually listening to and responding to what you are allowing to come in through your ears?

What do You Worship?

January 14, 2015 — Leave a comment

worshipSo last week we talked about the idea of worship and how it can take many forms – depending on the individual worshiper.

Today let’s explore the object of our worship. What or who is it that we worship?

And once again, the answer to that question can be as varied as there are people who are on this planet. It’s very interesting that certain groups of people would want you to believe that your worship is wrong – either directed at the wrong deity/person/thing or the manner in which you worship is incorrect.

Just so you know, I belong to a group of people who would like to condemn (at the worst) or ridicule (at the least) others who do not worship as they do. In fact, those outside our organization often point their fingers at us while exclaiming, “Hypocrite!”

And because of well-meaning people like myself, who are on the inside of organizations like ours, our God gets a black eye often from others who observe and cry “Foul!” when other insiders or possibly even me do or say or write things that those outside the organization consider offensive or that somehow goes against what they believe should be the norms for those of us on the inside.

So let me pose the question in a slightly different way – do you worship at all? Then, I guess, we’d have to come to an agreement on the definition of worship.

So allow me to ask it another way – on what are you spending your time, talent and treasure? That will help you understand if you are indeed a worshipper or not.

Thoughts?

Take A Deep Breath

October 1, 2014 — Leave a comment

When was the last time you thought about your breathing?

I know, right?

Unless you suffer from a breathing disorder, you accept breathing as just part of what your body does to function. But the Psalmist understood breathing on a much deeper level. Look at their words in Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!” (NLT)

If you are alive and breathing, the writer admonishes you to praise the Creator who gives you that very ability to breathe in the first place.

So take a moment today, as you‘re running around doing all that you have to do, and consider your breath. And then thank the One who created you to be a breathing being. You may not be able to breathe today as well as you once did, but as long as you are breathing you can praise the Creator.

Take a deep breath.breathe

Water in the Desert

September 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

presenceRecently the desert South West here in the states has received more than normal rainfall. Some cities, like Phoenix, have actually experienced flooding. Unusual for the desert to be sure.

It’s very interesting that those who live in the deserts spend much of their time crying out for rain or water in any form. And then when the heavens open up and the rains actually come, we shift our cries to complaints about so much water.

I’m reminded that very often we cry out for a move of God on our land or in the world. We tend to look around us and wonder why God does not intervene (often to stick up for our “side” and to rain terror on the “other side”). Somehow we forget the words found in Scripture that reveal “he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” (Matthew 5:45b NLT)

So if we find ourselves in the desert, he is there. If we’re experiencing rainstorms, he is there. If we go to the mountains, he is there. If we go through low valleys, he is there as well.

I need to be reminded of that from time to time. Wherever we go, whatever we are facing, he is right there with us each and every step of the way.

Does that change your plans for the day?

Prodigal . . .

September 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

gift. . . and You Never Have to Leave Your House!

You remember the biblical story Jesus told that we call the “Prodigal Son” don’t you? If not, in the story the younger son, not content to stay and work his father’s farm, asks for his inheritance early (unheard of in that day) and heads off to live the “good life”.

The younger brother, we never learn his name, squanders the inheritance on whiskey and wild women (my interpretation) and winds up working for a pig farmer (also unheard of for a Jewish man in that day). While in the pig pen he realizes that his father’s servants have it better than he does at this moment, so he returns home to beg forgiveness and is willing to become his father’s servant.

His father, watching for the return of his youngest son, runs to meet the returning prodigal and throws a lavish party on his behalf – to which the older brother complains.

That story, told by Jesus, reveals much about our heavenly Father not the least of which is that when one returns to him, he throws an unbelievable party. So remember the greatest party you’ve ever attended. Then imagine, with me, you’re idea of the biggest, most extravagant party that could ever be – greater than anything they would throw at Downton Abbey. Now multiply that by whatever multiple you think is unheard of – 100X, 1,000X, 1,000,000X. How huge can your brain imagine this party?

Whatever you come up with pales in comparison to how Father God and all of heaven rejoice (read that PARTY) when one “prodigal” comes home!

Now that is worth celebrating. And when we celebrate that amazing trait of our Father, we are truly worshipping!

Why not take a moment today – right now and celebrate, possibly even share with someone else, what He’s done for you?

Carpe Diem

September 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

stonesDecades ago (boy does that make me feel old) a band by the name, Kansas, told us that “all we are is dust in the wind.” And while that may sound a bit dreary to some it is nearly cause for rejoicing for others.

Recent events have reminded me that the writers of that Kansas tune had a right perspective on things. Life is fleeting, on that you can be sure. That theme has caused many a writer/poet/musician to pen many songs, poems, and more.

Not to sound any alarms, but we cannot be sure of our next breath, let alone tomorrow – especially those who find themselves currently in harm’s way – wherever they may be around the world. There’s a great scene in the movie Dead Poet’s Society in which Robin Williams attempts to instill a desire in his young students to pursue life as he tells them to listen to the voices of those who have walked the same halls they now walk. He entices them to lean in to hear their disembodied voices saying, “Carpe, carpe. Carpe Diem – Seize the day.”

And wherever you are, whatever time it is when you’re reading this, may you seize the day to make it the best you can – with God’s help. You see, each day is a day of worship. Jesus told the religious leaders of his day that if the people would not worship, the stones themselves would cry out in worship to their Creator.

So don’t let a stone do what you were created to do – seize the day and worship your Creator. How can you do that right now wherever you may be?

handsLeave it to author and church leader, Thom Schultz, to ask the question and then attempt to answer that question. Check out the question and more here:

http://holysoup.com/2014/07/23/why-are-we-here/

How would you answer the question?