Saturday, August 26, 2006

Verse of the Day 8-26-06

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

John 15:16

Worship Again

So tonight I went to worship again at the "Alternative Church Service" at a local church. Tonight was different, instead of a total focus on the worship the focus was on the theme of prayer and meditation. something that Christians seem to sluff off until they are older. Then some become "Prayer Warriors."

You know them, the prayer warriors of your church. The people you call when you need someone to really pray about things. Perhaps most of the time they are older women or men that are retired. Perhaps they are people that have fewer distractions and have more time to pray. They probably head up the “prayer chain” in your church. They are the people the pastor goes to when he needs to have someone pray for him. Bottom line they are in every church.

Then the other aspect, meditation. When is the last time you meditated on scripture? When is the last time you lost yourself in prayer and thoughts of the things of God? I admit, it has been a long time. Tonight the scripture from John 15 (The vine and the branches etc) and I was listening to the pastor’s instruction and following his guidance and things were fine, until I turned to the older gentleman sitting next to me to discus what we were meditating on.

I had chosen to focus on one small aspect the difference of the branches that are mentioned. The KJV version says 2X the words “every branch.” One time referring to the branches that do not produce fruit and another time for the branches that do produce fruit. I was focused on a truth that all the branches are/were a part of the vine, until God prunes them.

The old man sat and listened to me and then dropped a deep theological view from the same verses and brought several observations that I won’t go into now but really sat me back in my seat. I knew nothing of the interpretation he was giving me. I had learned a new truth and a reinforcement of God’s grace to me. I have a lot to learn.

It wasn’t that I arrived, it wasn’t’ that I knew everything, or even that I thought of things that way. It just is easy to sit back in the knowledge of scripture and the church and just rely on the past rather then continue to study and provoke and “work out our salvation.” Conviction like this has not hit me that hard in a long time.

So tonight the focus shifted from the awesome worship experience that I was longing for and we prayed. Not the normal corporate prayers of church, not the churchy prayers that we recite but a quiet time before the Lord in a state of worship.

As I start a new week and I continue to change, I will place re-emphasis’s on prayer and meditation. And by God’s grace, back to learning the fundamentals of the faith and look for the hidden mysteries that abound in this age of grace.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Grace

When grace overcomes law...

In Jesus Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us.
- Ephesians 1:7-8 (NRSV)


Lavished Grace
Google defines it as
Lavish = expend profusely
Grace = the free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Prayer

This was also in my email box, again, having to learn to laugh at yourself is the key:


Confiding in a co-worker, I told her about a problem in our office and my fear that I would lose my job. She was concerned and said she would pray for me. I know she keeps a list of the ten people she believes need her prayers the most, so I asked if she had room for me on her list. "Oh, yes," she replied. "Three of the people have died."


Reader's Digest

Wednesday VOD

This was waiting in my emial devotions when I woke up wednessday after my emotional evening.

If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
- Romans 12:18 (NRSV)


ARGH!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Emotion

How can I have so much emotion for a person that was in my life. Every time I start to think about him my blood boils. I have never felt this way to this extreme before. Never. It isn't a good feeling. Prayer, that should take care of it.

We must not judge by what we feel or by what we see before us. The Word must be followed, and we must firmly hold that these truths are to be believed,....
Martin Luther

From my MP3 Player

I have a little cheap Sansa MP3 player that I use when I travel, workout or mow the lawn etc., to listen to Christian music. I was thinking I should just dump my MP3 list online so I could stream it to my website, then I thought beter all those piracy laws etc, so I just am going to keep a list of artist that Iam listening to on my player on this website sidebar.

The following is the current list of artist on my MP3 player.


Sam's Club replaces 'Christmas' with 'Holidays'

First advertising of the season does not mention the Reason for the Season

Even though it is August, the Christmas advertising season has already begun and Sam's Club has come down on the side of "Holidays" instead of "Christmas." In the August/September issue of their in-house magazine Source, Sam's Club has one page dedicated to Christmas. But Sam's Club doesn't refer to Christmas as being Christmas. Sam's Club promotes it as "Holidays." On page 69 of Source, the promotional plug says: "Coming soon. Plan ahead for the holidays." On the page decorated in Christmas fashion are three products. Sam's Club wants you to buy "Holiday Cards," "Holiday Ribbon," and "Holiday Gift Bags." On the "Christmas" page, the word Christmas isn't used!

On June 26, AFA wrote Wal-Mart (which owns Sam's Club) asking that they not ban "Christmas" in advertising and promotions. Included in that letter was a CD with the names of 201,595 individuals who signed the petition asking for no ban. Wal-Mart, ignoring the letter, did not even bother to respond.
Take Action
It is very important that as many as possible send an email to Sam's Club. Since this is the first Christmas ad we have seen, we will notify major retailers of the number of emails sent. Perhaps our efforts will encourage other companies not to ban "Christmas." After you have sent your email, please forward this to your family and friends and invite them to help us "keep Christ in Christmas." Share this information with members of your church and Sunday School.
Click Here to Email Sam's Club Now!

New Music

Ever need a music fix and not no where to get some free tunes? I listened to a lot of crappy ones until I found some I liked but hey for free! Check it out both CCM and Gospel

Music.Download.com

Artist I found on this site:
Young, Rich, and Free
Sunset
Chris Holoway
The Union (good stuff)
C Worship (strange stuff)
Dale Huntington (Praise & Worship)
The Mercy Seat Project

Music.Download.com

Run the Headline: SAVED!

Today, I received an email about a person we have been praying for a long time. Saved. It is amazing to watch God work. Even if it is all in God's time not ours.


Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

James 5:16

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ready unto the harvest ...

This weekend I spent some time with a retired missionary from New Mexico (aka grandpa-in-law) I guess some things never change, while eating at the “Hollywood” we got caught up talking about the things of God and I was listening more than speaking (something that doesn’t happen often enough) and we noticed the table behind us had stopped talking as was listening to us.

Without hesitation “grandpa” turned and started talking to the gentlemen at the table who were joined by another table and then another of friends wanting to hear what was being spoken about. Two other ladies joined in and pretty soon we had a full audience larger than some of the churches this missionary had been preaching to.

The people came from every background, Catholics, Presbyters, Lutherans and other “beliefs” were represented in this little group gathered to listen to the stories of this old missionary. Without hesitation again the subject changed from just plain old pleasantries to the bare fact of the matter. Salvation.

It was great to watch the light in his eyes as God continued to use “grandpa.” You can take the missionary out of the field but you can’t take the message from his lips.

How do you worship?

While looking for more books and bible studies on worship to expand my understanding of this wonderful part of the Christian walk, I stumbled on to an interesting translation of a common passage about worship.


But the time is coming--it has, in fact, come--when what you're called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. "It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself--Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration."
John 4:23-24


In dealing with the “Woman at the Well” Jesus was dealing with more than just her sin in her life. Jesus was addressing the corporate worship of the Samaritans themselves.

The Samaritans chose not to travel to Jerusalem to worship at the temple (under the law). They took an old worship location built to worship false idols and chose to worship there.
Christ was dealing with their very method and mindset of worship and presenting a truth to them and at the same time a revelation of part of the mystery of grace.

So now we live in a new dispensation, an age of grace, where we must worship with everything we do at all times. I love the translation “Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” Our true selves.

This weekend I tried a new church service at the Evangelical Free church here in town, I don’t know anyone there (yet) and I slipped in 5 min late to avoid having to speak to people. I stood there in shorts and a t-shirt, my spirit lifted up with the music (awesome worship sound) and preaching/teaching. I came just like I am in every day life, nothing to hold me back from being me, no one I knew watching to see what I did.

I can raise my hands in worship. I can sing at the top pf my lungs, I can cry, I can dance, I can smile. This is what worship is supposed to be. Me myself, the real me, all out there before my God. I do it in the car, why can’t I do it in “my” church?

Real worship is worship that comes from within. Real worship that permeates your entire life and leaks out on to others: from music, to scripture, to our every day language, it is all in worship that we have been commanded to have.

How do you worship? I want to worship with abandonment.