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Showing posts from 2014

Waiting on God

 “Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?  The Eternal, the Everlasting God, The Creator of the whole world, never gets tired or weary.  His wisdom is beyond understanding.  God strengthens the weary and gives vitality to those worn down by age and care.  Young people will get tired; strapping young men will stumble and fall.  But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength.  They will soar on wings as eagles.  They will run—never winded, never weary.  They will walk—never tired, never faint.”                                                      Isaiah 40:28-31The Voice


I’ve been spending a lot of time re-reading the stories of Jesus… God in the flesh, entered into our human story.  The Eternal and Omnipotent (all-powerful) one confronted by human weakness and failing.  And a number of things keep hitting me hard:  first, God’s compassion.  Jesus is confronted continually by people who have fallen from grace, or at least according to the religious establishment.  And yet …

Seasons of Worship

We all like to get together when the music is good, when the songs inspire and the prayers move us.I’m sure we have had those experiences and likely commented on how “Worship was Awesome!”Perhaps more common is when we gather and the songs do not transport us, the music unsettles us, and the experience is hard to endure.“What was that?” is a common response.But perhaps we are looking at Worship from the wrong direction?
The word Worship describes the desire to ascribe worth and praise and glory to something… someone, namely God.  We come to Worship someone… else… not ourselves.  And yet we have a hard time separating ourselves from that equation.  It makes sense because if we are the ones ascribing glory, we should be using language and action that rings true to us.  No sense me trying to offer glory in a language I cannot understand.  Yet even as I say this, is it not true that when we love someone, we desire to speak in their language?  We desire to treat them as they would want?  If…

Choosing the Worthwhile

Life is busy.  I know, shocking revelation, right?  Seriously though, Life seems to blow past us at an insane rate of speed and leave us breathless wondering what happened.  We all have so much we would like to accomplish and we try valiantly to cram it in to an ever-shrinking, extremely limited supply of time.  And so we start apportioning… cutting things out, trimming off the “fat” and the unnecessary bits.  “I have time for this, not that…”
For some, it becomes an art form, and we stand in awe as they breeze past doing incredible things while we stand, panting, on the side-lines.  How do they do that?
I ask myself that same question almost daily.  There is so much I want to get done, and at days end, the list hardly appears touched.  And I silently berate myself again for my lack of effectiveness.  But almost in the same silent breath I hear another voice asking a different question:  “Who deserves your attention?  What is it that you are called to notice, for what we notice is th…

Inside/Outside

We are a very complicated species.  On one hand, we love to have limits and boundaries.  We create all sorts of lists and definitions which include, or exclude, just about everything in life.  We list what foods are acceptable, what clothes are fashionable, what cars are “green” and what pastimes are psychologically profitable.  On the other hand, we hate limits and barriers.  Just drive down any highway and see how desperate we are to push past, if not the speed limit, simply that one car that is ahead of us!  We may be content to mosey down the street if we are by ourselves, but put one car ahead of us and there is this urge to push past.  A perceived barrier needing to be broken?
Of course we have this same mentality in the Church.  How many sermons have we heard that have pointed out how the Pharisees and Sadducees sought to control who was acceptable to God through a rigid interpretation of the Law (Torah).   We are pretty quick to judge the religious leaders, joining in gleeful…

Heart of Worship

The name Matt Redman for many evokes images of massive crowds singing songs of praise to God.  In fact, look at the song credits of nearly any modern worship song and you will likely see his name listed.  But perhaps one of his most famous songs is “Heart of Worship.”
When the music fades / and all has slipped away / and I simply come. Longing just to be / something that's of worth / that will bless Your heart.
That song dates back to the late 1990’s and an experience within his own home congregation that would be uncomfortable and yet transformative.  Matt’s congregation was known for their awesome singing and music, and each week they pushed themselves to be bigger and better.  But at a certain point, the voices of the people fell silent, eclipsed by the sound and presence of the band.  It had become a form of entertainment rather than a time of corporate worship.
 “There was a dynamic missing, so the pastor did a pretty brave thing,” Matt recalls. “He decided to get rid of the soun…