Put um up! Sorry about that, didn’t mean to freak you out. This isn’t some weird blog hold-up, it’s a look at worship posture. That’s right – worship posture. Let me begin this by stating empatically that I AM NOT ADVOCATING ONE POSTURE IN WORSHIP OVER ANOTHER! Posture says something about what is going on our hearts and yet what we do physically isn’t the issue. What matters is what is happening in our hearts as we encounter the truth about Gods love for us is Jesus. Are we overjoyed when we hear that God loves us despite our sinfulness? Are we overwhelmed by the fact that Jesus died for us even though we deserve Gods punishment? Or is it just church? Is it just something in our schedule to get through? Maybe God’s Word is something we give time to because we feel guilty if we don’t read. Here’s the deal: God loves us! Our worship (which is our response to His love – both on Sunday and every day!) is a response to His love. Any body positioning will be a response to what is in our hearts. I had never thought about this before working on our current series at Church on worship. Our tradition doesn’t lift up those hands in church and I have always been critical of all the hand raising. The issue is usually that I thought folks who hold their hands up where trying to draw attention to themselves to show how spiritual they are. I must confess that I have been wrong and I repent. The reason is that lifting ones hands up in church during a song or prayer could be very powerful. Its a position of weakness. Think of a robbery or when police tell the bad guy to put up his hands. The next move is up to the one in control. God is in control – we await His move, not ours. Putting hands up could powerfully say that God has me dead to rights – next move is His – I have nothing to give Him – but humbly submit to His loving control. I am not trying to push any style of Sunday Morning worship with this. I just want us to search our hearts and see any pride that might be there. Maybe there is a deeper reason why I don’t raise my hands in church? For me its a comfort thing and a tradition thing. I pray that even if my hands are down – my heart is raised to God and opened by Him to receive His unconditional love.
I love the scene in Talladega Nights when they are having dinner and Ricky Bobby prays to the little baby Jesus with the golden fleece diapers. One of the family members keeps reminding him that Jesus grew up. Then they all share their favorite version of Jesus. They all have a pretty wacked idea of Jesus. Yeah, it’s crazy stuff but more true to life than we would care to admit. Think about it. How many of us will concentrate on Jesus as a baby on Christmas. Nothing wrong with this – it is part of what we celebrate – that God would humble Himself and become one of us. Amazing truth – that God became man! But He did grow up and died on a cross as our Savior. That is who Jesus is – not my version that makes me all warm and snuggly! Wasn’t that Ricky Bobby’s deal? He wanted to keep Jesus as a baby because it worked for him. Problem with that thinking is that we miss the point of Jesus birth and ultimately miss out on God love and forgiveness. So let’s praise God for the Newborn King who died to set us free and works in our hearts each day! Merry Christmas!!!!
Time is a runnin’ out folks! Christmas is almost upon us and yet it is not too late to get that perfect for the one you love! Best of all, it includes FREE shipping and will get here in time for Christmas. Sound too good to be true? It’s really not – the perfect gift for the one you love is you! Hang in there, this isn’t some weird ego boosting scheme. Here’s the deal: God loves you. He gave you Jesus for Christmas which means your sins are forgiven and you are accepted by God for eternity. Pretty cool deal right! That is totally free – God paid the full price on that one. So you are loved by God and you are looking for that perfect gift. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you (being loved and forgiven by God and all) could be the kind of person the people in your life need you to be. I can’t think of a better thing to give to others than me being a living example of what it means to be loved by God. Think of yourself like a living Christmas Card that needs no batteries. You can also be the ultimate gift that keeps on giving! Lets stop thinking that we are Gods gift to the world (in the “look at me!” sense) and be people who show the world the love of God in Christ by the way we live and love! Sounds like that Advent Conspiracy thing is still doing it’s thing.
Hey it’s been a John the Baptist kind of Christmas! Just check out the “Official” (accept no substitutes ) John the Baptist Christmas ornament. It was handmade by a close friend in response to a comment I made recently in a sermon about there not being a John the Baptist ornamnet at Hallmark. I totally dig the ornament and what it stands for – no to the crazy empty stuff of Christmas and yes to all God has done in Jesus and the changes that brings into our lives. John the Baptist gets it right as far as getting ready for Christmas even though he’s not very Christmasy. John isn’t about any of the external stuff as he simply points to Jesus. Isn’t that what this time of the year is about? The focus is on Gods gift of Jesus and His love, not matter how simple or elaborate our festivities. We get so caught up in what we think Christmas should look like or feel like and we lose sight of what matters most, which is the fact that God gave His Son to give us life! John the Baptiser spend all his time telling people about the arrival of Jesus and the changes to our world Jesus would make. I pray we can do the same and spend our time getting ready for Jesus and telling everyone about Him! That’s what I call Christmasy.. or is it Christmassy? Enjoy the ornanment and the season!
I love Christmas! I dig the lights and all the stuff! I have no problem with folks decorating their houses on Halloween (I did some myself). The lights are just lights. They are just lights powered by electricity and yet they point me to something far bigger. The arrival of the lights and the stuff at the stores signals that something is coming – CHRISTMAS! That’s rights – it is on! Christmas is on – yes indeed it is on! Bring it on – bring on all the stuff – awesome – that’s what I say – bring it all (except that song about Grandma gettin run over by a reindeer – they can have that one). It might be just lights and decorations; but to me it means we are all about to get a huge dose of reality. Christmas means that God is Here! He is really and truly with us in Jesus! He is our King and I say let’s let the lights shine and embrace Him like little kids again. I’d be willing to bet that there are no 4 year olds who are ticked with the Christmas stuff being out too early. For kids, the Christmas stuff brings joy – how ‘s about us grownups? Sure there are some bad things about this time of the year – but I say we throw ourselves into all Jesus is and embrace all He did for us! Lets worship Him Fully!
It all starts on Thanksgiving Eve! The Advent Conspiracy! Whats dat? A conspiracy? Its a call to do this whole Christmas thing differently. What do you say? Let’s stop complaining about how Christmas is done and change how we roll.
If you are looking for Advent Devotion – go here: www.adventdevotions.net
The Advent devotions will officially begin on Sunday, November 29, 2009 – the devotional site will be in full swing then.
YEAH – Go Eagles! Way to take it to the Giants! Ok – all done gloating – on to what really matters. For a quarterback, sacks are a part of life. For humans, death is sure to come. God gives us hope in the face of this truth. God has done something about death. When Jesus died on the Cross He said, “It Is Finished!” In Revelation 21 he again says “It Is Done!” There will be a new heaven and new earth and God will be with us forever – its a done deal. So why do we live in fear of the end? I think its because we have a hard time grasping the basic truth of our faith – that Jesus died for us and rose to give us life. He did that for you – just as you are and whatever state you find yourself in as you read this. Yesterday in worship we sang the Laura Story song (done by Chris Tomlin) “Indescribable” Great song – awesome lyrics – especially this one at the end that hits the nail on the head. “You see the depths of my heart -And You love me the same” Thats the deal. Plain and simple – LOVE! That’s why we can trust our eternity to Him!