Cultivate

It is that time of the year again. The plants are growing the trees are budding and it is warm outside! My grass already needs mowed, (Oh yeah I should charge my lawnmower). Sometimes we are lucky and plants just grow. There isn’t much you have to do to make grass grow(and weeds for that matter).

Its like that in worship too. We all have the area that comes naturally. For some it is singing, expressing praise, others it is serving, for some its compassion, some of us have a large capacity to love, and are accepting of others. Whatever it is that comes naturally to you, appreciate it and work at it even more. Because unfortunately we all have the weeds that come up naturally too. Nobody likes a weed! Sometimes we pretend that they are pretty, just to trick our minds into thinking we actually wanted it in the first place! You can call ugly whatever you want, at the end of the day its still ugly.

You know what weeds I am talking about… Selfishness, entitlement, pride, stinginess, idolatry… to name a few

All of that ugliness doesn’t honor God. When we start to see these weeds growing in our lives we have to start doing some work. The sad reality is that it is such a gradual process. Most times we don’t see it at first. We let it in a little and just like weeds in a garden or grass, in no time at all it has taken over what was once beautiful. Only the weeds are seen. Our ugliness outshines our worship. Our actions don’t honor God and His beauty can’t be seen through the mess.

Anyone that has ever had to get rid of weeds knows that it is difficult. Its hard work and labor intensive.

Perhaps you are a weeded up mess. Start over.Like an empty field. Take it and start to cultivate a lifestyle of worship.

Where there is negativity, pull it up and start to nurture positive thoughts.

Where there is anger, or unforgiveness. Lay it at the feet of Jesus and start with Forgiveness and accept his peace.

Where there is disrespect, choose to honor as Christ would.

Where there is un-love, make a choice to love, even the unloveable!

I am not saying this is easy. It isn’t easy to pull weeds and plant good crops and see it through. But the harvest is worth the reward. The work pays off in the end. If you are in the middle of your journey, think about the end… remember today why you ever even started! Remind yourself why you do what you do.

Start to cultivate a life that honors God… in spirit and in truth, In work and in deeds, in words and actions!

To truly worship him we have to move past the music, beyond the performance and let our hearts be renewed by him. Transformed from who we are and transplant HIS ways into our life!

Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NET)

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Re-Lent

I can honestly say that I have heard about Lent for many years and always dismissed it, even ridiculed it(often) as a religious duty. One with no real Heart or meaning behind it. It was a calendar based event that “in my opinion” meant nothing.

Flickr Photo by rwangsa

This year I have started reading through the bible and find it interesting that God placed so much emphasis on doing things in remembrance. He gave the Israelites songs to sing so that they, and their future generations could remember.

What I find even more interesting is He places things as a reminder to Himself.

Gen 9:14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,15 then I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures of all kinds. Never again will the waters become a flood and destroyt all living things.

To me, when I see that God even has a reminder it doesn’t make me feel so bad for having them.

Glenn Packiam wrote an awesome article about lent on his blog, you can read it here He wrote this which really makes a lot of sense.

“One of the benefits of celebrating Lent is that you’ll be fasting along with millions of Christians all around the world at the same time! We talk all the time about wanting the Church to be in unity, but then dismiss traditions as empty ritual. But what if these sacred traditions can be a way for us to walk in unity together?”-Glenn Packiam

I think it is cool to think that I could participate with christians all around the world in remembering Christ. In the post he goes on to explain how the Christian Calendar was made to point us and remind us of the love of Christ.

Before Jesus began his ministry He fasted for forty days and in participating in Lent and fasting for a time, it is a way of connecting with Him and also remembering all that He did for us when he came on this earth.

I am excited to begin tomorrow on Ash Wednesday, a 40 day journey of growing closer to him and remembering daily his sacrifice for me and you.

As Glenn points out in his blog Lent is also about giving to the poor. Allie and I are participating in 40 days of water you can find out about this awesome project here giving up all our drinks and doing only water.

Maybe You would like to join us and Christians all around the world during this time, I say do it! Anything to bring you closer to God is great!

Col3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Search my Heart

I have been listening to the album Aftermath by Hillsong United almost non-stop lately. As I was preparing and had been thinking about the set list for last weekend the song “Search my Heart” kept coming to me over and over

…Search my heart and search my soul…

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV)

photo from flickr by findingthenow

I know that this lyric comes from this verse David prayed to God

It really got me to thinking… What a dangerous prayer! Continue reading

Clap your hands

My Son just recently started to clap his hands. I know it is really not that exciting, but to me it is! He is nine months old and grows so fast is it unreal. He is young and still cannot do that much stuff.

Most days I take him by the hands and have him walk around the house holding my hands so he can practice walking. It is so cool to see him grow and learn new things. He even learns things that Allie and I don’t remember teaching him… like clapping. I asked her if she was teaching him it and she thought it was me. That is pretty funny to me but nonetheless he claps all the time now.

Shameless Plug** Cutest Baby Boy Ever!

I was thinking about the whole clapping idea.

Psalms 47:1 Come everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise!

This is one of the verses in the Bible that talks about clapping. It makes me wonder, Why clapping?  Continue reading

old T-shirt, new perspective…

I have in my closet some older clothing. It is not so old that you could take it out and think “Why did I ever wear this?”. Those outfits are long gone (thank God!). Just recently I told Alyssa about an old shirt I own. How I got it and the whole story. It wasn’t anything special, But I still remember it and all because I can still hold it in my hands. Its funny how things in life bring you right back to a specific moment in time. It makes me wonder, “If I didn’t still own that shirt, Would I ever remember that day when I bought it?” Not likely, It would be just another day that fell into the landscape of the past. A Mixture of memories flung together with all those fleeting moments, most likely never to be thought of again. In fact I can say with confidence that there was nothing noteable that would ever make me think of that day, except that I still own that shirt… Continue reading

>Praise what?

>Prov 27:21 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, 

but a person is tested by being praised.NLT
Prov 20:27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.
You have to love proverbs. It puts it right out there. Sometimes it even calls you a fool, or worse than a fool (I didn’t know that was possible), prideful. I am blessed to be a part of and serve in the ministry of worship. It even sounds funny to say. God says to offer ourselves as worship to him. How can I oversee that ministry? Okay so to be honest…

I get to sing songs. It’s something that in our society is itself, worshipped. There is an entire industry created to make “idols”. Have you ever really thought about that? Sure the shows name is a play on the fact that the people can create something out of nothing. I am not saying that there is no talent involved (in most cases). I am saying, that is what an idol is… nothing. You can read in Isaiah 44 about the foolishness of idols. Of course we don’t have blocks of wood to worship. Society is far too advanced for that (Maybe plastic boxes with circuitry inside). The idols we have now are hidden, right in front of us. I can say that I don’t look at things in my life and thank them for saving me. I don’t “praise” it, out loud. But honestly, what really truly brings me joy? What is it lately that has gotten my praise, my admiration? 

Is it a song I heard that helped me through a situation. Is it the way it made me feel to be in charge, that sense of power. Is it the way my actions affected someone for good or even for Christ, pride is a tough one. Is it the kind words someone told me to lift me up that I crave. Is that what brings me my joy. So often the idols that are lurking in our hearts are hidden, even to us. David was smart enough to understand this. Psalm 139:23 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life…  
You can see that even in Prov 20:27 it’s Gods light that can expose these hidden things in our lives. We can’t do it, it’s not self enlightenment. What’s my motive behind the things I do, even for God? It should be Him, His glory, His kingdom, His children restored. Is it?… Like David that should be my prayer. But to be in His Light I have to be where He is. I have to do what He does. In other words I have to know his ways, revealed to me through the word, and allow Him to speak to me. But most important I HAVE to listen when He speaks and I HAVE to act. My action is proof of my transformation. My inaction is proof that I don’t trust him, Don’t believe Him, or just plain don’t care… God reveal those idols in our hearts today, so we can be Your servants and our hearts and lips will praise You and You alone, in everything we say,sing, and in every action.


>tweetle deeetle eet

>I was listening to the radio today and heard an interesting topic. Twitter! okay it was about the bible and twitter. There is a Worship Leader who decided that he was going to read a chapter of the bible every day. After reading he will then send out a tweet on what he read. There were people calling in to the show expressing their concern that this was a dangerous idea. One caller remarked that no one should take or add to the words of the bible. I am a little shocked that anyone would ever assume that a person might take someones twitter comment as the definitive truth. Is this even a debate. When did twitter become a way to teach and learn. I could just as well say the same argument about a physics book. Ill take a chapter a day and tell you in 140 words or less what I thought. And that is all it is… a thought, an idea, one mans opinion. I doubt i would find one intelligent human being that would honestly think that by reading my post, they have understood and comprehended an entire textbook. On the other hand I think its a great way to flood a otherwise mundane technology with the word of God, as small as it may be. I think we have a lot more to worry about in this life than parts of the bible on twitter.