Archive for April, 2006

Jay Hanson and I had lunch yesterday, and the topic of worship came up. We were asking ourselves, “What is the difference between Corporate worship (like the typical church service) and personal worship?” My first response to Jay was that there are different, more expressive and elaborate means of worship when we worship corporately (bands, videos, etc.) which do not make sense on an individual basis. I guess that makes some sense, but I left that conversation still feeling like the question was left somewhat unanswered. I’ll continue to ponder that one. We spent most of the time talking about corporate worship, but my main thoughts right now are about the personal side, and what true worship really is to me as an individual. It’s a good thing to challenge yourself on, because all your spiritual being revolves around that.

Jay gave me a book to read, “How to Worship Jesus Christ”, by Joseph Carroll. I read about half of it last night, so fell asleep pondering worship, which felt like……., worship. Cool. One of the things mentioned in this book is that an inconsistent devotional life will produce an inconsistent spirit of worship. I like that — it make sense. When I look back at my life, I realize that I have been pretty inconsistent and unintentional about my devotions and worship (kinda like my personal blogging). That has made my life and attitudes inconsistent. People who are consistent just seem to experience less ups and downs in general attitude and spirit. It takes INTENTIONAL devotion, to produce CONSISTENT worship.

Intentional, consistent devotions can produce a continual spirit of worship.

That’s not real deep, it’s common sense. You are what you think about, what you worship. It is about maintaining a constant stream of communication with God. God speaks to those who fall at his feet in worship. More on that later in another blog post, I need to focus on that one more myself.

It also talks about prostrating yourself, and casting down your crowns. I’m pondering that also, but need to look at my crowns, and my general “posture” when I worship. Am I bowing down when I worship? Have I cast down my crowns, or am I hanging on to a few? I can’t achieve true worship if I sit at the same level as Jesus, and I am not honoring Him if I am also wearing crowns. Ouch. Got me there, on both counts.

Oh, and we have to let go of our intellect when we worship and serve God. Double ouch (yeah Jay, I know, I know). I WAY over analyze everything, which I am ashamed to admit shows a lack of faith.

I’m enjoying this little book, in spite of all the “ouches” (or maybe because of them). It is one worth reading through more than once. I’ll try and blog more as I read it.

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Church worked on me today …

Posted: April 9, 2006 in My Life

I went to church twice today, and got blessed twice. I went to my normal service at The Chapel, where Jay challenged us on why we worry so much what people think of us. Right on Jay. I worry way too much there, and way too little about how God feels about me. When I was on the Walk to Emmaus, I remember thinking and praying about that as well. Thanks for the well stated reminder.

Secondly, my wife and I were invited to 1st Baptist to see a dramatization done by Mark Tighlman (sp?) titled, “The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God”. It was awesome. So much faith through so much misery made me realize how small my faith has become, in spite of how spiritual I feel I am sometime. I’m trying. Trusting God with every step on my walk even when things are good is hard enough for me to remember to do, much less when things are falling apart around me. Job had every right in human eyes to be unfaithful and curse God, but he hung in there in a mighty way and triumphed, plus witnessed to so many. What a goal to seek. Oh to be one nth the husband, father, and friend of Job.

I was out of church for too long. It is truly wonderful to be back, and too be among such great people. I still struggle with some, but God is encouraging me every day to keep reaching out to those I seem to have trouble clicking with. I hope they see my heart. I want to know and help each one I meet, as we struggle through our walk together. I am thankful that God keeps putting me back in the game…….

Almost two weeks ago, I went on a walk.  This is not just any walk, it was a Christian walk called "The Walk to Emmaus".  This walk was a 3 day event that allows you to get away from all distractions and focus on your spiritual being.  It was incredible for me.  There are a number of special surprises that will humble you and connect you to some pretty intense feelings that we all have, plus you get to meet a few nice people who are also going through the same process, and support one another in prayer and discussion.  I highly recommend it.

After my walk, I have spent a good deal of time reflecting.  Reflecting on my worship, my service, my professional life, family life, etc.  It gave me a great new perspective on these things, and I am working hard to listen.  I did not leave there with a bunch of resoutions or revolutionary ideas on changing my life, I left with a desire to closely examine where I am in my walk.  It has been great reflection time, and I have spent time with Jay (my pastor) struggling with some things that are good struggles.  My wife went the week after I did, and it has resulted in some really good conversations there as well.

The walk helped me to appreciate the people in my life.  I appreciate knowing that people actually take the time to invest in me as a person.  I want to do more of that investing in others.  I want to stop moving by people so fast as I go to the next task, and leave a mark of caring on them.  Some people accept that kind of attention better than others, but I will pray for those who struggle with that.  I have a couple of people in my life that I strive to be friends with that do not seem to need or want that friendship, and I want to know why.  I offer it freely with no strings.  We all need another friend, but need encouragement as well.  Are you one of those people?  Do you move past people so quickly that you don't ever see who they are?  Are people reaching out to you, but you don't answer?  Is your thought as you meet new people only for what good you can get out of it?  I have certainly done that.  I had a situation right after my walk where I walked past someone like that, then realized I had done it.  I then immediately went back purposely to that person to refocus, and ended up in a conversation that was not only interesting, but rewarding as well for us both.  That was awesome.  I have a new friend.  Wonder where the next one is?

"Lord, help me to walk more slowly, to hear more clearly, and to reach out to each person I meet just as you would have done.  Open my eyes to my struggles with certain individuals so that I may overcome those struggles and relate to each person I meet in a way that would please you.  Never let me give up on being a caring friend to each one I meet."

Amen.

I am better after my walk.  If only in that I am thinking more on things of God and renewing my struggles that for so long I had just given in to and accepted.  I have and will fail, but God encourages me to stay in the game and keep trying.

I'm back in the game.

Put me in coach!