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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Holy Discontent Wk. ?

OK - First let me apologize and say I have to be the  world's worst at trying to do a book discussion via blog. YIKES! So sorry. I will try to do better in the future. I think this is week 6. So, let me jump in. (If you have no idea what book I am talking about take a look back at previous posts to get caught up - kind of...)

It seems at this point that most of the "physical-group" have identified one or more Holy Discontent(s) in their lives. Have you? If so, leave a comment and tell me about it. This week the chapter validated what a bunch of us already knew - that  HD can morph over time. It actually made some feel a lot better about theirs. (Some of us have been worried that we may have MHDD - multiple holy discontent disorder.)

This week Bill encouraged us to follow it where ever it takes us, giving the example of Nehemiah and Bono (not sure which one of those guys would be the most impressed by being in the others company - lol.) But from both of those examples, I think what stood out to me was the phrase "dismantling apathy". Boy, that is one thing that really creates a Popeye type moment in me. If you see something wrong in the world, don't wait for someone else to come along and change it while you sit and complain. Do something about it!!

The other thing he mentioned several times is the fact that in Bono especially (probably because Bill has never met Nehemiah) he felt that his HD oozed out of him. He gives it is "thousand-watt all."

Bottom line in my mind, that is what God desires from us when He gives us a Holy Discontent. He wants us to dismantle the apathy and let our passion ooze from us to the point that it is contagious to those around us and will cause some of them to take up the charge and fight with us.

So, have you noticed some morphing of your HD? I have! I truly believe what he says about God teaching you things to use to follow your HD in situations He puts you in. Worship, Internet Campus, Worship in the Internet Campus, Leadership, etc., etc... (And if you don't know what our Internet Campus is - definitely hit me up! I'll "go Popeye" on you for a bit)

Be faithful to follow it where ever it takes you. This is a journey we are on with God, and while He doesn't promise to show us where we will end up - He does promise to be right there leading us the whole way. We just have to be willing to go. I'm all in! How about you, world changer?  Sound off people. It's gettin' lonely in here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Worship on Steroids!

And when the priests came out of the Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had consecrated themselves, without regard to their divisions,) and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, their sons and kinsmen, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, stood east of the altar with 120 priests who were trumpeters; and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord, For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever, the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God. 2 Chron. 5:11-14

OK. Stop what you are doing right now and get that picture firmly in your mind. These verses are describing the dedication of the temple of the Lord built by Solomon. The first permanent place that God had to reside among his people (before it was in a portable tent.) There were over 38,000 Levitical priests. I am not sure how many were present for this event, but I can bet it wasn't a small showing. 
What an event this must have been. 

Singing, playing on instruments with the lyrics that still ring true today "He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever." Repeated by thousands upon thousands of people in worship to the Lord. 

What happened next, no one was expecting (I would imagine.)

The glory of the almighty God came down in the form of a cloud or thick smoke and filled the temple. His presence was so thick that the people fell down in worship and the priests could no longer preform their duties. 

What a worship gathering that must have been. I imagine it was just a small taste of what worship in eternity will be. 

Thinking of that experience makes me long to have that each and every time we gather together to worship our Savior, whose steadfast love endues forever. I imagine if a group of people came together with hearts overflowing with that realization of Christ, God's presence would be so thick in the room that we may be able to do nothing but just "be."

I have experienced it a few times in my life in a group setting and in my private worship. The common denominator in all of those situations is hearts aligned in worship to the one true living God. 

Have you ever had an experience like this? Share it in comments if you want to. I would love to hear about your God encounters.

I don't know about you, but once I tasted His presence, thick and palpable in the room, I long to get back to that place as fast and as often as I can. So, my encouragement to you would be to come to your next time with God (whether private or in a group) ready and expecting His to fill that place with His glory. 

He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He will show up!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Heaven Can Not Contain Him

It never fails to amaze me what new things I see when I read scripture and what God puts in my heart when I spend time in His word. This year, along with a good friend for accountability, I am endeavoring to read through the Bible chronologically. As of today, I am officially 44.1% done. Yea! 

The point of that paragraph was not to brag, but to let you know how many years in the past my resolutions to read through the Bible have failed and I truly believe that the accountability has been the key to staying on track this time. I am just to weak and lazy to do it on my own. So, get an accountability partner and get after it. You don't have to wait til January 1. Pick a partner, pick a plan and get after it. Here is the link! And if you don't have a partner, put me down - I would be honored to monitor your progress for you! (and leave me a comment if you decide to take on this challenge.)

Now - on to what God is doing in my heart today. 
The current subject of reading is Solomon building the temple of the Lord. Man! What and undertaking that was. It took him 7 years to complete. Specially cut wood (sorry H - it was cedar), carvings on all the walls and doors of flowers, palm trees and Cherubim, and then all of that overlaid with pure gold. I struggle in my mind to even imagine such a magnificent place. Here is an artist's rendering but I imagine that this does not come close to doing it justice. You can read about the description in 2 Chronicles 2.

The verse that stuck out to me was when Solomon, in all his wisdom, spoke this in 2 Chron. 2:6 -
"But who is able to build him a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him?"

Even highest heaven cannot contain Him! And with one small phrase, I am once again put in my place. Small and not able to bow low enough to worship my God. 

Why is it that it is so very easy for us (me) to let my mind wander away from the reality of who I worship, who I give my life to?

I find myself taking the reading of His word casually, as something to check off my To-Do list and move on. I find myself forgetting that when I am putting together a church service, I am not just creating a list of songs and a flow for the morning, but I am needing to search the heart of the Almighty God for His plans to commune with His people. As my son would say, FAIL!

Oh God! Forgive me for letting this world get in the way of seeing You for who You are. For forgetting the awe and reverence I should live in every moment of every day. For thinking in any way I can on my own bring people to have a revelation of You. 

Not even heaven can contain you!

Lord, thank you for your mercy. Thank you for "right sizing" me yet again. My life, my all is Yours! Use me to point people to you, the omnipotent, awesome, one and only God!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Holy Discontent Wk #3

So sorry that I skipped a week of posting on the book. The "Reader's Digest" version of last week is that it gave an overview of the holy discontent of great people in history like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa. There was not much speaking directly to me, so I found it hard to write on, although the group discussion was good and I discovered something about myself. I have MHDD - Multiple Holy Discontent Disorder. I thought I had mine pegged after week one, alas, week 2 brought things into a clearer light. (and before you worry to much about my MHDD - I also discovered that I am not alone in it.) So, if you have not quite found your HD (Holy Discontent), fear not and read on.

This week's reading I found easy to read and thought provoking. The chapter title is Your "One Thing." Before you worry that you have been off track with all the many things you give you time and energy and passion to, relax. Hybels is quick to let readers know that we, as believers, should feel passion and take action on things that call for it (like earthquake relief in Haiti), but all of those things are probably not your "one thing".

Eph. 2:10 says that "we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Basically that means that even before we were born, God had specific things He set us apart to do. (yes, YOU TOO!). As I read this book and think about what that might be for me, the picture becomes more and more clear. I am right where I am supposed to be, spurring others on to a more connected, passionate worship of God.  I will say that it took someone else pointing it out to me before I saw that though. I mean, I KNEW that in my heart and my spirit but I think I was so busy trying to look (2 chapters in to the book - can we say over achiever) for something new and unique as my HD that I totally missed what God had already revealed to me in so many ways before. 

If you are reading this and thinking you are behind the curve because you are still not sure what your HD is yet - don't be! Not everyone in the discussion group has clarity yet, and I don't think most are supposed to at this point. It is a process after all. To help in the process, Hybels gives this description, "Your "one thing" is the stirring situation that causes so much damage to your soul that it brings you to your own Popeye moment - a place where you feel you simply must do something. ... it is God inviting you into a intentional and personalized partnership to renovate reality. "

In short, your HD is something that: wrecks you, vies for all of your attention, keeps you awake at night capturing your heart and your imagination. It is the one thing inside you that your soul feels MUST BE ADDRESSED. When you find it you will know "you were born for it."

In new and exciting ways, God is re-purposing in my soul what I was born for - to worship Him with everything thing that I am and to help others do the same. So, how about you? Do you know what you were born for? Sound off in the comment section and let's get a little discussion going for those who are not able to make the meet-ups. Ready - Set - GO!