A-MAZING, seriously

Yesterday, I had the honor of attending a church service in Ethiopia & I had an incredible experience during part of their worship – off the chain! Ok, here’s the deal: I LOVE praise & worship and I’ve been extremely blessed to join in fantastic worship services literally around the world for more than 3decades & what I experienced yesterday was nothing less than OUTRAGEOUS.
There was a really large group that had traditional instruments & dressed in the traditional orthodox attire, starting off with what seemed like a nice cultural presentation & just when I was settling in to enjoy some nice historical Ethiopian tradition, I lost the plot because I could sense the Holy Spirit in such intensity that I still can’t find adequate words, almost 24 hours later.
Yesterday’s experience was completely inundated with God’s presence & it had nothing about it that is modernly familiar or “normal”: no guitars, keyboards or synthesizers. There was 1 ancient calfskin drum played by a girl, no microphones or anyone addressing the audience. Instead, there were probably 50 or so men & women completely & passionately focused on giving praise to God, the Community of love. They sang & danced with 100% commitment no matter what the people watching were doing. As a result, I found myself totally dialed into focusing on God, joining with them to exalt & honor God.
Let me just say that there are many ways & expressions to worshipping God. Don’t fall into the trap that you need lights, cool music, trendy dressed leaders, mixes that appeal to your music preferences, perfectly regulated temperatures & a comfortable seat / environment to exalt our Creator. While these things can be very nice, let’s keep our focus, passion & intent purely devoted to lifting up the Lover of our soul. Clean, pure, intense & totally devoted worship, full stop

20140519-085217.jpg

20140519-085325.jpg

20140519-085420.jpg

staying power

Holy Cow!  That was Jeroboam’s solution to help him stay in power as the king of Israel, even though God had obviously put him in this position.  I was reading this morning (1 Kings 7) about how God spoke to Jeroboam through a prophet & told him that he was going to be the king of Israel.  When Jeroboam became the king, he got really jittery about keeping his power & decided that his kingdom needed it’s own set of gods, festival days, worship routines, etc that would exclude anything from the Temple in Jerusalem or the worship of the true God, as outlined by Moses.

Jeroboam was put in the position of king by God’s power but he didn’t stay long because he decided to trust in his own methods & efforts rather than trusting in God.  In my thinking, there’s no staying power of any lasting value that doesn’t include trusting in our Triune God 🙂

extravagant

I was reading this morning about how Solomon build God’s temple and I was particularly impressed with all of the gold stuff.  If I read correctly, I think Solomon had the Holy of Holy entirely covered in gold, including the floor.  If this is true, the room was the definition of glitter, sparkle, beauty and extravagance.  Solomon was beyond extravagant with building God’s temple – his worship to God might even be considered by excessive by some, if that could ever be possible.

As my friend Darlene Zschech embodies, lets worship God with abandoned extravagance, no matter what we may be going through or what’s happening around us 🙂

Celebrate Jesus!

Last night was one of the coolest evenings I’ve had in several years. Our church joined with 2 other churches to have a worship might with all 3 congregations. There were lots of things I thoroughly loved about the evening & probably my top favorite things are:
*unity – Jesus prayed when He was on earth that our Father would make us one like He & the Father are one. Experiencing some of the unity that Jesus prayed for was magnificent!
*worship versus performance – I totally loved getting to participate with my heart, soul, body & emotions to lift up Jesus, rather than sitting & watching excellent & skilled musicians make beautiful music
*fellowship – there’s nothing that can compete with genuine spiritual fellowship & communion with brothers & sisters in Christ – such rich heart food

What a great honor to lift up Jesus with other whole hearted believers!!

Christmas & worship

mangerJust my opinion here, but I don’t think you can separate genuine Christmas from worship – they’re more than mutually compatible.  I think they’re interdependant.   If you give it much thought, it seems pretty impossible to separate the two when you consider that God took on human flesh, humbled Himself to be born into a dark & sinful world, spending His 1st night in a feeding trough for an animal, to an unwed mother.  Add to the mix that some wisemen who studied the stars & who were considered to be the philosophers of their day show up with some really nice gifts & fall on their knees to worship this baby, along w some smelly shepherds who had an angelic enounter & were EXTREMELY excited. 

Here are some reasons to worship: 

  • God came to earth to live in human skin
  •  an angelic announcement got the shepherds all stirred up!
  • God warned Joseph about Herod trying to kill baby boys & Joseph protected Jesus by moving to Egypt
  • Jesus didn’t “lay low” during His human experience – He was completely & thoroughly engaged w humanity
  • Jesus loves us as much today as He did the day He died on the cross

What are some other reasons that cause you to worship Jesus?

yaaaaaaaa whooooooooooo!!!

I’m giddy excited, thrilled, ecstatic, delighted, . . . . . . pick an adjective of your favorite liking & insert here!  The fantastic mark thomas wrote a song & has posted it – prepare to have your eyebrows blown back.  Go to http://denverintranslation.com/ and listen to, “its your love”.  I can’t tell you how excited I am about God’s presence on this song!