Deep calls to deep

There’s a river of life that flows deep in us. Sometimes it gets dammed up by the pain and disappointments of life. But as we sit in His presence with no particular agenda. Not looking for anything more than just to be with our Papa God. The stream begins to trickle through the dam and slowly but surely it breaks forth into the river that has been restrained. For in His presence is fullness of joy and life everlasting.

That river is in the deepest part of us, our spirit man.  For most, it is buried way under the cares and occupations of this life we live on the earth.  But once it is activated by the Spirit of God bringing life back into our being it can never stop bringing forth life.  We can dam it up and even restrict its flow but in the end the river of life will prevail and bring us into the joy I spoke of above.  

Give into the flow of life, do not resist the Spirit as He calls you to life and joy.

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New Moon

Riding into work this morning the sky was a beautiful palette of reds ahead of me blending perfectly into the darkness of what was behind.  The new moon was strikingly absent from its place just below the morning star this time of year.  It was like my morning friend was hiding or preparing to be revealed.  With the new moon we entered a new month, Cheshvan, on Saturday and on this new day I was stuck by the gift of each day we get.

The month of Cheshvan,  which is when the great flood, you know Noah and the Ark, started and then ended a year later.  It’s a month of bitterness and also new beginnings!  Traditionally and month of bitterness and suffering to my people, with the deepest day being Cheshvan15 (Nov 9th 1938) the infamous day know as Die Kristallnacht when the NAZI’s began their march towards the “final solution”.    There is also a hopeful component in the traditions that this month will bring great blessing with the restoration of the third temple in Jerusalem.

For me this daybreak was a sign of a new day full of promise and hope.  Messiah Jesus has redeemed us form the curse of the law and broken the grip of death from off our necks.  Let our lips offer up praise and worship today with every beneath we breath and every step we take.  Understanding that He has overcome Sin, Death, Sickness and the Grave once and for all!

Gratitude

Gratitude is easy when we can see and feel the blessings and faithfulness of Papa.   We recently had the rear tire blow on our Goldwing at about 60mph.  I, or probably, our angels slowed the bike down to about 10-15mph by the time we were thrown off.  We landed in the dirt and grass on the side of the road.  The guy in the car right behind us was an Orthopedist, behind him a first responder, behind her a nurse…..   Needless to say we especially blessed to have survived with bruised and broken ribs being the worst of the damage.

 

It is so easy to feel gratitude for The things we experience in this physical world. We feel the joy and pain, we sense the emotional implications and see the direct results with our eyes. But what about the unseen realm? What about those blessings and special graces which impact our spirit man? They are much easier to ignore or lose sight of. This is one of the reasons we need conscious, purposeful worship in our lives. I know that this blog is about worship being a natural part of life and living and I firmly believe that is true. However, there comes a time when we must take account of the path we are walking and give honor, indeed worship to the unseen hand of providence.

With so much chaos and destruction going on in our world these days it’s easy to lose heart and be caught up by the calamities around us, but we must take our stand firmly on the ground of worship and hold fast to the anchor of faith. Never forget that Papa God and Jesus have ahold of that anchor on the other end.

Perspective

Earthly or Heavenly, which is it?

We recently moved further down the river and down two floors, it gave me a whole new perspective on the river.  What was far away is now closer, my whole perception of the river has changed.  Sights and sounds are clearer and amplified.  I am much more aware of the rhythms of the river and the life which depends on its flow.  It’s not necessarily better, just different and refreshingly new.

There is much talk about our perspective, is it earthly or heavenly? Is a common question, distinction.  This “difference” comes from the concept of “being earthly or heavenly minded”  John 3:12, Phil 3:19.   We’ve heard the idea of being no heavnly good because we are too earthly minded or vice verse.  Well. I think it’s like so many things I’ve come to see as my hair turns gray and the clock continues to ticktock on the wall.  The truth tends to lie between the extremes that are revealed in the Word.

Heavenly perspective  is totally accessible through the earthly perspective we live in day to day.  It’s similar to worship in that it is a mindset or lifestyle by which we interpret everything we experience thru the lense of the Holy Spirit.  Much the same way as my perspective on our lovely river has changed and become much more detailed and intricate, the journey of faith that I’m on has grown deeper and richer every time I’ve taken the time to see Papa in his creation and pondered the beauty of His glory.  Times of revelation in the “wild” have been as powerful as any big celebration or conference and may have been more profound and lasting.

Papa God put this all here so that we are without excuse in regards to knowing Him and seeking after His tangible presence.  The perspective we choose is our own doing, near or far makes no difference from Papa’s perspective He’s always as close as our next breath and in the very expression of that breath.

Restoration

To Restore:

  • Return to it’s original state
  • Restitution of something lost or taken away
  • Remove the wear and tear of time 
  • Replace the broken with new that blends in perfectly with the good.

Everyday we learn of new ways that bring worship out of us.  Restoration is one of those sources of gratitude which supplies us with the joy that springs forth from a new beginning.  When we have wandered from the paths of righteousness and followed after the ways of the world our soul gets weighed down by the cares of this world.  We get so focused on the world around us that we loose sight of the calling of our lives to worship and fellowship with Papa God. 

Just like a piece of furniture which needs refinishing, we must be cleaned up and restored.  Sometimes it takes the Holy Spirit’s scraper, steel wool and solvent to cut through the layers of gunk and dirt we’ve collected.  We must be stripped of the tarnish and oxidation that comes from living in this world.  The labels on purported magical refinisher/restorers you will see in the store claim easy on/off quick work with no residual film or color.  But the hard work of restoration takes time and patience.  The damaged places must be restored through the tears of repentance and the rebuilding of trust just like the elbow grease of removing the old decay and applying the new layers of clean finish will bring out the original beauty and luster of the wood.

The real joyous thing here is that we have a helper in this restoration in Jesus.  He is patient, kind, loving and wants to see restoration more than we can understand.  He will supply us with the strength through the Holy Spirit to complete the work of restoration each and every day we walk out our faith and hope in Him.  Ultimately Him bringing worship as we live in His light and glory.

Worship in all things

I’ve been reading How the Irish Saved Civilization, the first book in the Hinges of History series by Thomas Cahill.  Learning of the ancient roots of the Irish people and how a slave named Patricius turned the whole land upside down for Jesus.  By the power of his life of worship and obedience lived out before the rowdy, raucous, ribald, “live life to the hilt because tomorrow we die”, inhabitants in the land of the Celts on the outer edge of the Roman Empire.  I had heard of his prayer before, but had only seen the snippet:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. 

While this snippet fits in well with the theme of this blog, living a life of worship every minute of every day through the singleminded concentration on the beauty of Christ, the power of the full prayer as recorded in this book highlights the staying power of a life so centered on Jesus that all else grows dim in the beauty of his countenance.

St Patrick’s Prayer

I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the threeness, Through confession of the oneness Of the Creator of Creation. 

I arise today Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism, Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial, Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension, Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom. 

I arise today Through the strength of the love of Cherubim, In obedience of angels, In the service of archangels, In hope of resurrection to meet with reward, In prayers of patriarchs, In predictions of prophets, In preaching of apostles, In faith of confessors, In innocence of holy virgins, In deeds of righteous men. 

I arise today Through the strength of heaven: Light of sun, Radiance of moon, Splendor of fire, Speed of lightning, Swiftness of wind, Depth of sea, Stability of earth, Firmness of rock. 

I arise today Through God’s strength to pilot me: God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me From snares of devils, From temptations of vices, From everyone who shall wish me ill, Afar and anear, Alone and in multitude. 

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils, Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul Against incantations of false prophets, Against black laws of pagandom, Against false laws of heretics, Against craft of idolatry, Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards, Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul. Christ to shield me today Against poison, against burning, Against drowning, against wounding, So that there may come to me abundance of reward. 

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. 

I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the threeness, Through confession of the oneness, Of the Creator of Creation.

How refreshing to see the way he incorporated the culture of the Irish into this prayer. He lived his worship in front of them and made it real to their culture…..

Pharsees and Saducees not welcome

While walking the earth, who did Jesus spend his time with?

  • Those who hungered for truth and freedom from despair
  • Those who saw the connection He had with Papa God
  • Those who wanted to be in His presence
  • Those who recognized the presence of Holy Spirit in Him

While walking the earth, who did He stay away from ?

  • Those who had it all, they were the tip of the top
  • Those who had God all figured out, they had the system down
  • Those who were convinced they lived in the presence 
  • Those who knew they had their place secure they were the chosen ones

fork in the pathThe Word says God dwells in the presence of His worshipers.  Where else would Jesus want to spend His time?  

Would He stay with those who didn’t even recognize Him, after-all they had millennia of prophecies lining out everything He did.  But they were steeped in layers of traditions which blinded them.  In the end they worshipped their system not their Creator.  Those other “outsiders” were looking for love in all the wrong places.  They were desperately seeking the love were starved for.  They knew they deserved nothing but saw living love in front of them.  They could sense the very atmosphere Heaven when He was near, His love was overwhelming and His joy contagious.  The perfect representation of Pap God standing in front of them and they came to two wildly different conclusions.  He was either the very author of life or worthy of death!

Every breath, every move, every step is true worship when Jesus is the focus, if we set our hearts on someone or something else, our worship is futile.  Dust in the wind, vapors not rising up but dissipating, tears not stored up but squandered on the ground.   Yes everything we do is worship but, of whom?