An exploration of Everyday Worship

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Worship Sermon Notes (08-08-09)

Everyday Worship

As I have been preparing for this sermon, I have really been blessed. I was honestly hoping that I could shed some light on the subject of Worship, and found that God had so much more to teach in preparing. I pray to God in thanks giving for allowing me to grow through this time with Him. I hope this knowledge, this little bit that I have learned, and this little bit I have time to share with you today will help you to become a better “Everyday Worshipper.”

Worship. We have messed up this word and its definition, and twisted it around to fit our needs and our wants. We have applied it generously in the fields we want to grow in, and quite sparingly in the harvest of Gods glory. As we discussed last week, God made us to be worshippers. He MADE us to worship. That’s a huge deal. That tells us really, everything we need to know about ourselves. That defines us. That outlines us, and gives us a definition of who we are. With that knowledge, we know we are complete in Him.

So you say, who is God that He should be worshipped?

Who is God?

  1. God is the author of existence. In Genesis we see that God created the world, heavens, the sky, land, water, creatures, and man. And Out of man He created woman. He said, everything I have made is good. We were perfect. God is the author of everything, except evil and sin.

Who are we?

  1. We are man. Our father and mother, Adam and Eve were deceived and fell in the beginning. Thus began Gods grace, from the beginning. He did not destroy Adam and Eve, He clothed them, and sent them out. I believe that this was the beginning of worship. The state necessary apart from God, the time in which we now live.

Who is God?

  1. He is the keeper of Moses. He is the Father and promise keeper to Abraham, through whom we live a life of resolution. We are resolved in the truth that through the line of Abraham we would be Gods chosen people.

Genesis 12: 1-3 (Gods 7 Promises)

1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Who are we?

  1. We are Israel. We are the nation that continually turns our back on the God who made us. We are the people that look to ourselves to answer our ever-lasting questions; we build our selves up to be mighty, instead of God. Even this being true, we are those of Gods promise.

Who is God?

  1. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He sent His Son to earth, born as man, who lived and was tempted, and died for our sake. The Son was separated from the Father, that we might not be separated from Him ourselves.

Who are we?

  1. We are sinners. We are fallen. We are the living rebellion to Gods Holiness. We are the crucifiers of God made man on earth.

We are also the heirs, the ones receiving the inheritance of ever-lasting salvation through the one we crucified.

So now that we have defined who God is, and who we are, that gives us a clear view of where we sit, and why we should be worshippers. Let’s get back to worship.

Worship has been defined as time in prayer. Worship has been defined as both a specific time for music, and a specific style of music. It has been defined as something you do at church, and as something you do only at home. Although there are aspects of worship that do take place in some of these forms, perhaps in most of them, Worship in and of it self is not any one of these things.

The bible says these things are Worship:

Psalm 48:9

9 Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.

Psalm 95:6

6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;

Psalm 96:9

9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.

Psalm 100:2

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs

Deuteronomy 12:6

6 there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks.

Psalm 150

1 Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.

2 Praise him for his acts of power: praise him for his surpassing greatness.

3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,

4 praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe,

5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.

6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

Luke 4:8

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”

John 4:23

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Perhaps this will help get us started. Brady and I have come together on this definition, which we believe to be the culmination of all these things.  I don’t believe this, as I don’t believe any one statement I have heard before encompasses everything I believe Worship to be, but a great stepping-stone for us today.

We will define Worship as:

“The request and allowance of God, the Holy Spirit, to be within us in order to continuously bow down and give Praise and Thanksgiving to God the Father. This only being made possible because of what God, the Son, did for us on the cross.”

If we are defining it this way, then none of the initial actions I mentioned would fulfill this work. But let us focus on the one part today.

“in order to continuously bow down and give Praise and Thanksgiving to God the Father.”

Our God, three in one is constantly giving praise back to the Father. If we are to follow Jesus example as we talked about last week within prayer, then we would see that our definition of worship is to also be defined and acted out as such.

We now know that Worship is not something that we do at one certain time, or one certain place, but now we know, worship is life. That sounds a little modern age-y right, but the truth is un-deniable. A continuous life of praise and thanksgiving is to live out each minute of each day to glorify God. This is Everyday Worship. I want to bring this further under the microscope to pull something into the light. And honestly, if you are having a hard time with this, good. If you think this is impossible, good. If you are worried about what your friends would think, good.

I will quote Le Crae on this one.

“They tell you value Jesus by the way you rep His name!”

And, how are you “repping” His name?

A.K.A: In your Everyday words and actions, how are you working to glorify God?

You:

You. Are you selfish? Yes! Are you greedy, probably? Are you greedy in your relationship with God? Do you want everything he has waiting for you? Probably not. How is your relationship with God today? Are you seeking Him out in prayer? Are you interested in working on that relationship? Are you reading your bible? Or are you just stagnant. The thing is, getting stale doesn’t do you any good. A warm stick does not a fire make.

Your relationships:

Are you married? Are you ministering the gospel to your spouse? Do you allow God to work through you to let your spouse know that they are safe and secure in Him? How are you acting out as Christ in this relationship?

Are you engaged? Do you seek Gods wisdom on a day-to-day basis in order to become the spouse God wants you to be? How are you acting out as Christ in this relationship? This is different from being married, but also different from being single.

Are you single? Do you ask, well what about single people, what are we supposed to do? You are supposed to set an example of how a Christ like life can be lived through the power of the Holy Spirit as a single person. You have to wait. Sorry. It’s here decisions must be made, are you going to serve as a single person, or do you look forward to serving as a team?

Do you have relatives? Are they the conservatives you hope never to share a church with? Are they the types that just don’t get grace? Do they think their rules are better than your faith, although, their rules don’t appear anywhere in the bible? How are you acting out as Christ in that relationship?

Do you have Co-workers? Do you fight with your boss? Do you think he could possibly be satan? Foreigners, do you think Koreans have no common sense? Koreans, do you think foreigners should stop speaking their mind so much? Do you think that Hakwon’s are the devils playground? How have you been Christ in your work place? How have you displayed Christ while doing your job?

In your relationships, how can you set a better example of Christ likeness? If a picture speaks a thousand words, think about the thousands of words you speak to everyone you come in contact with on a daily basis. Each time is a chance to show them Christ. This doesn’t mean that you walk around with your big ole bible waiting for someone to notice it. This doesn’t mean that you are like those people who get into peoples faces on the street. You know the “ you’re going to hell” people, or in our case, those people out by Save Zone that ask you, “do you mother god?” Each day, each minute, gives you another chance to live out your life in praise and worship by making decisions that glorify God, and not yourself.

The world:

The world. Is the world your best friend? Do you live to seek things of this world solely? Do you cling to the things that the world has to offer? If you do, than your worshipping the world, and not God. If having some drinks with friends turns into an all night bender that resolves in a massive regurgitation, and a days recovery… and you like that. You worship the world. If that was the last time you were gonna smoke a bowl with your friends, cause college was so much fun, and then you’re gonna stop, your worshipping their friendship and the world, not God. God calls us as Christians to be different; to be something other than what is “normal”. Does that mean, don’t hang out with your pot-smoking friends from college, no. Does that mean that you might feel a bit awkward, probably? Do you need to shout Jesus’ name every five seconds to compensate for being different, no. But if a moment arises after a time when they say, man, we used to get into a lot of trouble together, what changed? You have an opportunity to say, hey man, Jesus. Jesus changed me.

Sex:

Are you a prostitute? This is such a loaded question. You think, are you f’n crazy? Of course I’m not a prostitute. Let me clear this up for you. A prostitute is someone gives himself or herself for something. We’re not just talking about money. I know that was the first thing you thought of. It’s for anything or any reason. Did you sleep with that girl because you were horny? Did you have sex with that guy because you wanted to feel loved? And there are a million other examples we could go through. Even giving yourself away emotionally to someone who is not seeking Christ, who does not know God, who is not going to marry you, stay away, that too can be a prostitution. I know you never wanted to think of yourself that way, but guess what, giving yourself to anyone but God outside of marriage is prostitution. I had a really hard time jumping over that hurdle. But you need to make the jump. And married people don’t think that because you are married that this doesn’t apply to you too. It’s almost worse. The eyes and the mind are worthy of adultery just as much as the fingers and the “other places”. You have cheated on God; you have cheated on your spouse. You need to repent. This is a great evil, and I would not tread lightly on this subject. This is probably one of the hardest areas that you need help with. And God offers that help. He tells us that he will never give us more than we can handle. And that He will give us a way out. Which direction do you take?

Money:

Do you worship money, and everything you hope it will bring you? Do you store it all up in hopes that you feel comfortable if something bad were to occur? You are worshipping money, not Christ. Tithing, yes I am bringing it up. God commands it. I’m not perfect, and it is hard. You need help in prayer, do it. Knowing that the money is Gods not ours, and acting accordingly is worship. Are you too worried about saving the money you have? Are you too stingy to help others? Do you eat out at that nice restaurant too often? Do you spend more time buying beers every week than you do going to church, praying, and reading the bible? Have you gotten drunk more times this year than you’ve gone to church? You worship another God, not the creator of life.

Time:

Is your time, YOURS? Do you see every second not doing what You want to be doing as an infringement on YOUR life? Do think that because you give money to the church that you shouldn’t need to volunteer? Do you think that because you do something to help out, that you should be given special value? God doesn’t need us to do these things. They are acts of worship. You do it not because He needs it, but because He calls us to do it. You do it because the author of your existence is worth more than the worldly pleasures and treasures you find here.

Do you get mad, and curse at people in traffic?

Do you get all pissed off when something doesn’t go your way, and make sure everyone can see that you are?

Do you want You to be everything? Always of most importance?!

Friends, we are selfish beings. We want, want, want what we want. And fight, fight, fight against what God wants from us. That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in as we talked about last week. Prayer. Pray that the Holy Spirit would come on you, and allow you to walk with Him in a broken manner, living for Christ. Ask Him to make you an “EVERYDAY Worshipper” in which you can live out every moment, not in some weird, nazi Christian way, but with the God who know you before you were, who had a plan for you before you could be planned. Who loves you enough to crucify Himself for your sake.

That’s what it’s really about, if you truly know God, that will change your life. A good question to ask is, “ Would my life look the same if I didn’t know Jesus?” And if you can answer yes to that, then perhaps maybe you aren’t a Christian today. And if you’re not sure, I ask that you would grab someone you trust and ask them to pray with you today that God would be your one true love, the lord of your life. The only thing that can save you from yourself. If you do know Him and are changed, then people will see those changes. When people see those changes, you have to be prepared for their response. Being an “Everyday Worshipper” is not a guarantee that things will go well. In fact, Jesus pretty much guarantees the opposite. He tells us that if we walk with Him, that we will be different, and that people will hate us because of His name.

You have to be ok with that, and you can’t be ok with that if you don’t really know who God is, and what He did for us on the cross.

Worship is recognizing that your life is far less important than the One who died to keep you from eternal hell. Worship is giving everything you have over and over again, failure after failure, because He is worthy of our praise. He is the God of all ages, forever and ever! Amen? Amen!

Pray Sermon Notes (08-01-09)

The thing is, we all know at least a little bit about prayer, we’ve all certainly heard someone else pray, and certainly if we are a Christian, we have read in the bible that God speaks of prayer as greatly important. Though we know about all of this, we still struggle with it. Why is that so, why can prayer be so hard sometimes? Why, when God calls it to us in such great importance, can it be such a heavy weight?

I think that there are many reasons/excuses that we could talk about, but I will boil it down to three different excuses right here.

We might say;

  1. I don’t know what to say. I hear all these other people in prayer, and they are so good at it. They use lots of BIBLICAL words that I’ve never even heard of before. And every time I try, I just get lost in the words, and it’s too frustrating, so I just stop.
  2. Next, we might say that we just don’t have the time. Some people get up really early in the morning to pray, and I am just not a morning person. And I am so busy during the day that I really can’t do it then, and well, by the time it’s time for bed, I am just so exhausted. I mean, God knows everything, so do I really need to pray. These people often are too busy living their own lives to come to the Father. The problem is, when they are in trouble, or in times of abundance, they neither seek God, nor praise Him for the gifts they have.
  3. I am doing so well/so poorly that I don’t need to pray. It wouldn’t make a difference.

–       The earlier type is the type that has been so blessed with worldly opportunities that they forget to thank the God that allowed those things to happen.

–       The other type is the type who has that has lost sight of where they are. They think they have dropped so low that perhaps God doesn’t care, or that because of these times of suffering, that he does not in fact exist.

I am sure that you are all wondering now, Am I one of those examples? I used those examples because those are examples of me. I have at one time or another been one of those people.

There is a great verse in Ephesians that I came by the other day while preparing that made things so much clearer.

Ephesians 6:18

“Praying always with all prayer and supplications in the spirit”

This means that all prayer that you come into should be done THROUGH the Holy Spirit. There is no other way. That means we have help, in fact God requires us to come to Him with the help of the Holy Spirit. That tells me that I am hopeless, I am sinful, I need Jesus, I need the Father, and I need His Holy Spirit to come over me. With out Him, I cannot do it.

I want to next go through a handful of prayers that God tells us through the bible are ways of coming to Him. These are simply a few guides, and not an exhaustive list or examples of how to pray. These may be a road map for those of you who feel they have no way to go. And for others, a few other out looks on communing with the Father.

Before we get into these prayers, let’s lastly take a look at what Jesus has to say to us about prayer.

Matthew 6:5-13

5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

I think this text is a great guideline in which to know what is expected of you within prayer. To seek Him honestly and with humility through the Holy Spirit!

Let’s get into it!

The Prayer of Confession

Confession: Is the admittance that we have sinned against God. That we being human have turned from His will.

We will look at 1 John 1:19

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

I have to say, that this prayer may be one of the most important prayers you will continually have to make. To say, “God, I know you are there, I know that you are sovereign and perfect. I on the other hand am not and have broken your word. Lord, today I have …”

Yes, God knows already, and yes he knows what you’ve done before you even say it, and what you will do. He ask us though, rather, he commands us, requires us to vocally confess our sins that the blood of Jesus may clean us.

Something else that’s important in this prayer of confession is that it is about seeking redemption, about seeking Gods forgiveness. In this prayer, it is necessary to ask for forgiveness, but just as often, when we are in sin of not forgiving others, to ask God to provide us with the strength to give forgiveness when we feel grieved about something someone else did to us.

God tells us in Matthew 6:14-15

14 For if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

The Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving

Praise and Thanksgiving: This is an act of Worship! To say god, you are the One and ONLY true Creator and author of life! It is an outpouring of gratitude for the blessings that have been poured into your own life.

We are going to look in three places:

Psalm 100: 4-5

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

1 Thessalonians 5:15-19

15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what      is good for each other and for everyone else.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.

Psalm 150

1 Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.

2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.

3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,

4 praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe,

5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.

6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

I think beyond praying for forgiveness this is it. God tells us through His word that we were made to Worship; we were made to be worshippers. We are here for the sole purpose of praising our creator and savior.  And the truth is that because we were made to be worshippers, if we are not worshipping the creator of our existence, what are we worshipping? The world, idols, but that’s another sermon altogether.

The prayer of praise is a strong one. God tells us in His word that it is a double-edged sword, in Psalm 149. The constant praise of our Father has a power that holds Satan at bay, driving his evil forces away. We learn in Samuel that God consistently allowed David to drive evil spirits away from Saul with his praise and worship of the Father. And whether you know it or not, it will certainly do that in your own life as well.

The Prayer of Faith

Faith: Knowing Gods will, praying it, and receiving it.

Luke 7: 6-10

6 So Jesus went with them.

He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

Over and over again in the scriptures we see healing by faith. Jesus tells us over and over again that of the most important gifts we may receive is faith. The prayer of Faith is most definitely rooted in our confidence in Gods word.

This is also tricky, because some will say that your prayers for health and joy were rooted in faith, and if things don’t turn out the way you want them, then surely God was not there. But I tell you, faith and praying in faith is knowing that you are praying on Gods will, and are ultimately ready what ever the outcome may be. God doesn’t allow us to suffer for the fun of it.    If we suffer there is always something to be learned. And if you are suffering, then ask yourself not why God is allowing you to suffer when you are such a “good person” and you asked in Jesus name. But go into prayer, and ask God to reveal to you what he wants you to learn from this suffering. God not only knows the right direction, but He also has our best interest at heart!

The Prayers of Supplication and Intercession

Supplication: To petition or entreat someone for something. i.e. to ask God for something we want.

Luke 11: 9

9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; those who seek find; and to those who knock, the door will be opened.

Jesus says, it will be given to you. Now, that doesn’t mean you go around praying, “ God please give me that new Lexus I saw the other guy driving, I would really like that.” He is saying, if you know me, you know my will, and if you pray in my name, for my will, surely you will receive.

This is a hard thing to do, to ask for something that is for the glory of God, and not for ourselves. We are only human, so to ask without any ulterior motive is pretty much impossible. Knowing the Son though, calling on the Holy Spirit, with an honest heart for gratifying Gods will in a situation. That is a prayer of supplication.

Intercede: To plead or mediate on behalf of another person.

Acts 12: 1-18

5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”

The bible tells us that Jesus intercedes for us in Hebrew 7:25. And in Romans it tells us that the Holy Spirit prays for us and through us as we pray in Him.

This like the prayer of supplication is about having a relationship with God in which we know Him deeply enough to know the things He cares about. In doing this, He allows us to pray on behalf of someone else. Truly a great work when we know Gods will, and we pray for someone else through that will.

The last of the prayers: The prayer of Agreement

Agreement: When two or more people come together and agree with the word of God that something specific will be done.

Matthew 18: 19-20

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Psalm 133: 1-3

1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.

3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

This is really a powerful prayer to me. This is really a combination of all of the other prayers to me because here you have to have faith and confidence in Gods word and will. Next you come together to commune in Gods word, to pray together for Gods will over a situation. It’s commanded straight from Jesus’ mouth. Where you come together in my name, for my purpose, there I will be too, and it shall be done for them from my Father, whom sits in heaven. He is commanding us to know His word, to know His will, and then come together as a body to pray it out! That is powerful stuff!

Now, we just went over a bunch of different idea’s and information about prayer from the bible. And some of you may be feeling a little more confused by all of that then you were before. Really the next important step is that you truly just understand that God seeks a relationship with you. He seeks to commune with you. Not just once a month. Do you see your wife or husband once a month? Do you talk to your friends only once a month, once a year? He truly seeks to know you, and for you to know Him everyday. He seeks this intimate time of prayer to allow you to know Him better, to strengthen your faith, and fulfill the role you were made to fulfill. Gods very own child. So come to Him as that person, that son or daughter that you are to Him. You don’t need a lot of big words; you CAN’T impress Him with them. He already knows what you’re going to say, so say it and let Him work within you, to use you for His work. We are going to close now. I will close in prayer as an example of how I pray with my family, how I pray on my own. Let us close.

Lord, Father, I come to you today in thankfulness. Lord I am thankful for your love, your mercy, your wisdom, and your forgiveness. Lord I thank you for my wife, who is beautiful, kind, and forgiving. You have made her wise when I am not, and made her loving when I have not been. Lord I thank you for my son, who is virtually indescribable. He is the light in our day every day. No greater blessing could I imagine being bestowed upon us. Lord I ask your forgiveness for the foolish things I do in spite of your love. The forgiveness I have not shown, when you have clearly shown it to me. Lord I apologize for getting upset at work, and yelling. Lord I ask for forgiveness for being sharp with my wife when I was frustrated. Lord I ask for your forgiveness in not relying on you to be the sole provider of all that I need. Lord I pray for my friends and family here at OEMB. I pray that as some travel, that they would be safe, and enjoy their time away. I pray for the ones not traveling that they would find rest and comfort, though they are not blessed with the time or means for traveling currently. Lastly, I pray that we could continue to come together in your name, for your will, and that it would continue to be given to us. I pray that we would be worshippers everyday. I pray that we would seek you in prayer everyday for anything. All of these things I pray in your name, Amen.

A long time…

It has been a long time since I have blogged. Mostly due to the fact that I had forgotten totally about my blog. I think I would like to reinvent the wheel with this one, and begin again. Perhaps this time with more focus…I hope you will join me!

What’s in a name…

I say EVERYTHING!!! As most of you should know by now. We have the blessing of bringing a new person into this world on April 27th, 2009. We have finally, after not very much thinking, decided on a name.

Elijah (The Lord Is My God) Jun (boils down to submission) Sowma (a sweet Lebanese name)

There you go. Enjoy!

The Art of Marriage, the Art of Love

I am quite certain at this stage in the game, there is most definitely the ART OF MARRIAGE, and the ART OF LOVE.

As I awaken everyday, I find myself more and more aware of that art. Not that I am certain I understand it yet, or that I am actually employing it’s use properly, but I am certain that I am learning it everyday. It was said once by someone I know that they were sure that God had made marriage to be a daily deconstruction of our selfish nature. Or something like that. He said it much simpler though. In my marriage I am pushed, I am shoved, and I am destroyed all the time. The funny thing though, as when in previous relationships I thought that it was the other person doing it to me, I find that I have quite well achieved these results on my own, without any help. I AM selfish, I don’t quite know how to REALLY love someone day in and day out with grace and mercy. I am offensive, and I am vile at times.

My wife though. She pretends to not notice most of the time. She cleans me up, and dust me off. She kisses me softly, and begins to let me start again. There is an ART to marriage, and an ART to love. It is grace, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, faith, hope, and selflessness. Although I don’t quite embody all those things all the time. God has brought someone quite perfect in those area’s to teach me day by day. And someday… I will write a blog about how she does it!

Thanks.

Along with everyone else… The New Year

I decided that I too, along with everyone else would write my New Years blog, post haste.

Where to start. A year. roughly 365 days.

As I take a step back and evaluate the year past, I look to all the amazing things that I have to return to. Almsot one year ago I rang in my 27th birthday with a wonderful set of co-workers, and an amazing set of friends. Although on the opposite side of the world from one half of my family and friends, I some how managed to be happy and keep moving forward. To those of you who believe that this was an easy task, maybe you have never lived on the opposite side of the earth from your friends and family. And to those of you who know how hard it is, it gets  much better than you ever could have imagined if you choose to let it do that for you.

After my birthday I proceeded onto the next part of the year. In February a relationship blossomed that I could have never imagined blossoming. Really in the middle of craziness, and a life that was a bit confusing and confused, God totally turned my life around and allowed for a lot of healing to happen, and a new chapter to begin.

As the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months a wedding was planned and achieved. Hearts united and tied together. Families came together to form a bond not to be broken for anything but time. We continued to fight and fly through each day as we spun into fall.

We moved in and moved onto a new beginning. There together set into our new house, sitting snug and nestled in for the winter learned of a new edition to be added to already new and blossoming relationship. To be expected around April 27th of 2009.

As we proceeded to work and be blessed the church blossomed and people moved in and others moved on. As this takes it’s toll, you move on and begin to thank God again for everything he has in store, because we are reminded again that the plans of this world and these people cannot stand the test of our father. So we pray and move forward again to smell the sweet sweet nectar of the new year and all it has to bring. Through our grief and pain, we move on.

A procession of grace has overcome that of direct tyranny. It has abundantly provided for our lives and our health. A wealth being provided. Thank you again for that. It has been the only thing at times. You are gracious, and graceful.

“I am captivated. Captivated by you!”

Buck – Naked Faith

I am starting a new book in which to push myself, and to continue my growth and faith in Jesus Christ by pushing myself further and further. In these coming posts concerning this book “Buck-Naked Faith” by Eric Sandras I encourage you to question yourself as well with me. Please feel free to comment on the questions or my thoughts on those questions. I am always open for healthy conversation.

Chapter 1: Brutally Honest

Growth Points:

1. List three specific things in your life that would change if you were cultivating your friendship with God.

a. It says to be brutally honest. I don’t know what conditions are considered brutal to our friend Eric here, but as usual I will try and be honest about what I see. If I was cultivating my friendship with God, I would be more open about the issues I have with other people, how I respond to them.  I would  not WITH HOLD INFORMATION from God. (This means not only how I treat them in person but also when I am reflecting on our interactions and mentally. Not only is God present in both those area’s, but really so is my subconscious, and even if I am just working through something with them, it still effects my negative response to them in further issues.) If I was cultivating my relationship with God I would not be so afraid to share both my failures and victories with HIM. ( Currently I am more apt to share my victories with HIM, and not come to HIM in my times of need. I reflect and find that funny, because there was  a time in which I would only make contact when things were wrong. The goal is to find an abundant mix of both. Also with a mix of pure praise and worship with a dash or two of repentance for good measure 😉 And further still, if I was cultivating that relationship, I would be much more trust of things I have no control of in the first place. Whether it be health, money, relationships, church, work. There is responsibility to be taken on my part. But it is ultimately Gods will for things that causes course. Learning Learning Learning.

2. Write down four things that you tend to binge or purge on. Are they “God” things, or “sin” things? How are they related? When do they occur?

a. Binge. Food, laziness, family, pain. Purge. Productivity, family, things, time.

Binging subsequently comes mostly from sinful things. I am too self, therefor I hold onto pain, in hope that others will notice. I let the pain effect me so I begin to “purge” that pain with “comforts” such as eating and laziness. I hope that I can soemtimes say that I binge on my family. My relatively new wife is a joy and a blessing in my life. And I try, when not being lazy, to assist her in her daily life such as a husband should do.

Purging comes relatively from similar places. I replace productivity with laziness when I can’t pick myself back up from the fallen places. I am at times very selfish with time, and am not always good with giving my family everything they deserve. My complete attention, my love, and my time. I both satisfy that selfishness with things, and in turn spend much time trying to figure out how to rid myself of those things, and concentrate on the things that matter. I purge myself of time by both giving it away to things of laziness, and useless productivity. I say purge as opposed to binge because most of those pursuits are not of value, therefore I am purging myself of important things instead of taking time for those important things.

I link most of those things to the fact that I am selfish, and in many ways can not yet see how to come out of the darkness that is myself, and visit the light that is Jesus. Giving of myself and those things I consider mine for love and others. If I was really engaging in that relationship with God, that friendship, I would be more astute in providing for others in my life those blessings placed upon me.