Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Approaching His throne with boldness...

Last night at cell group during the prayer time, Tom asked a very unique question to a group of the guys. He asked, "If you could ask God to give you one thing right now, what would it be?" I thought that this was a mesmerizing question. I then thought, could God follow though and actually give us this one need/want instantly? Obviously the answer is an emphatic "Yes!" But, would He? I'll admit, it is a little difficult to believe. I mean, I want to believe it. In my mortal, infantile mind I find it hard to fathom that God could instantly grant a want or need that I have been praying for for the past however long. May God rid me of this doubt.

Anyway, I asked God to allow certain dreams and past prophecies to come to fruition sooner rather than later. Over the past 10 years or so, I have had numerous dreams and prophetic words spoken over me regarding my kingdom destiny, which is to lead worship. I know that I know that I know that this is what I will be doing in the hopefully near future. For some, this may come across as redundant (because you know where my heart is), but that's ok. If you so desire, you can read past posts of mine that cover my thoughts on worship and my journey: Worship, Make a Joyful Noise, So timely, Got to Crawl.

At times I find myself leading a particular song in a corporate worship setting, or I see myself leading worship with other "more famous" worship leaders. I often wake up at night singing certain worship songs! The only way I can explain this is that there is a much higher purpose in my life. I believe there are interests in your life and there are your passions. I can only speak personally on this matter and for some, the two line up. For me, the interest I have had since I was a wee lad was working with and being around animals. God has allowed me to have a job (and be good at it...I think) that pertains to my interests, so that I can perform to the best of my abilities because I enjoy doing it. However, the PASSION in my life is worship. God is slowly working this out. I understand that it is all on His timing, but I'm believing that He will make this happen soon!

So, maybe you are reading and you are feeling what I'm saying. You have heard God speak kingdom purposes over you and you are waiting for those to fall into place. Or, maybe you have something else that you would ask God to fulfill NOW or give you NOW. Maybe you need wisdom? In James it says that if any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God to give you wisdom and HE WILL! Whatever it may be, I encourage you to be bold in your prayers. Approach His throne of grace with boldness (and humility) and ask for a speedy granting of your needs. He is a God that longs to give good gifts! Don't forget that promise!!

If you feel led, you can leave a comment saying one thing you want God to give you right now and I will join with you in prayer for this...if you will join with me.

Grace and peace.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Working it out?

"Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling."

Philippians 2:12

For a long time I have wondered what it means to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. To set this up, I want this post to be more of a forum-type setting, where a dialogue if you will (and I will) is created. So I will start with what I think Paul is trying to say here and I really would like for others to post with what their own take on it.

Here it goes: First off, salvation is a free gift from God, which we all know. I think that after we received this free gift afforded to us by the amazing grace of God, it is our job to perfect our salvation - ie. reading, praying, listening, loving, serving, encouraging, etc. By this we will avoid falling into the category of living by "cheap grace" that so many Christians do. Their sole motivation is to avoid hell, not to go deeper or fall more in love with our Beloved King Jesus. Will they make it to heaven? Sure. Will they be close to the throne? Probably not.

The second part of this particular verse stems from the fact that only He is the author and perfector of our faith. The fear and trembling arise out of sheer awe of who God is. We are a weak people that depend on God to be and provide for whatever we need. He is a Holy God, and our Sustainer! Once we realize this fact, and realize that He is our strong and wise adversay, then automatically the attitude of fear and trembling will be birthed.


Grace and peace.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Why not?

I was reading today in 1 Thessalonians and a few phrases stood out to me. It probably won't do much for you but it really motivated me. The first one being in chapter 1, verse 3:

"We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."

The bold print is there for emphasis. "Your labor prompted by love." I think that the Word itself says enough and my attempt to analyze it is, well, wimpy. But I think it is worth taking a second of your busy day to ask yourself, am I prompted by love to serve or labor? Is love the motivating factor in my day-to-day life?

The second comes from verses 7-8 from chapter 1:

"And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia-your faith in God has become known everywhere."

The question I asked myself after reading this was, "Why are we not hearing more of people's faith in God from other parts of the world or other parts of the U.S.?" Thessalonica was the capital city of one of the largest and influential provinces back then. So, one would have to assume it involved a large people group. Would it be egotistical to strive after being known everywhere for our faith in God? I don't think so. Maybe it starts with community transformation, which our church is so passionate about. Will people one day being able to say that they have heard about the faith of the people of Cobb county (or wherever you live)? Will people one day say that they have heard about the faith of the people of Atlanta? Even more unbelievable will be people talking about the faith of the Americans. I can only say 3 words, hopefully one day.

I know this post is a little random and my thoughts are probably incomplete. But it was just something I thought about today. Maybe some of you can offer some input?

Grace and peace.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My job

This is a late night, tired and frustrated post. I'm laying here, about to fall asleep (cuz I'm friggin tired), but I need a little release. I will say that this weekend has been one of the busiest weekends at work I've had in a long time. I've already expressed this to a few people, but I need to blog it out. Ok, if you don't know, I work most weekends down in Sandy Springs at a specialty and emergency clinic. My job is entitled, "Staff Emergency Doctor." I see emergency cases that walk in or are referred over by other private practice veterinarians, and I have the job of training interns (ie. fresh graduates). Teaching others, whether it be owners or interns, is something I truly enjoy doing. But, it can be quite frustrating too. Annie I'm sure you and the other teachers understand. As their supervisor, I get a little bothered when proper care (or sometimes just plain common sense) isn't taken. But I have to hold back the "you blew this one" comments, and try to gently correct them and hope they don't make the same mistake twice. Completely belittling them, though tempting, is not the way to build up a new doctor. Although sometimes I wish I could be more like the sarcastic doctor on Scrubs and make fun of them every chance I get. But I can't.

But the thing I have to remember is that I was once in their shoes, and not too long ago in fact. Eyes wide open, pupils dilated, heart racing and the feeling of, "oh crap," rushes through your head, as multiple emergencies come walking through the door. Some are very critical, some are the easy emergencies. But still, it is overwhelming. At this particular clinic, when there is an emergency, the receptionist calls on the overhead speakers, "Emergency, your next patient has checked in." I used to cringe everytime I heard their voice! I would say to myself, "Nooooooo!"

Anyway, back to the point of it all, was I that inept in what I was trained to do?! To put it bluntly and honestly, was I that stupid?! Answer...probably. Actually, probably more so. You learn as you go. And the exciting thing is that I/we will continue to learn new things. Mistakes will be made, no doubt. Don't dwell on it. Learn from it and be dang sure it does not happen again. Encouragement is the key. Tell them things they are doing right and then bring up the things they really didn't handle the right way. I have one patient right now that I'm hoping survives. Proper care was not taken and this dog's life is hanging in the balance. Granted, it has an awful underlying condition, but I have to wonder if his situation would be a little bit better if a different approach would have been chosen. But I held back the idiot comments and tried to correct them in a non-attacking way.

Words have the power of life and death. This is so true in every avenue of life. Train them and BUILD THEM UP. Kids these days don't need more ridicule and comments of inadequacy. They need encouragement. WE ALL NEED ENCOURAGEMENT. Wherever you are in life, sharpen one another. Speak life and purpose.

I know this is kind of a random post, but I felt it needed to be said. I just hope my mind, which is working on about 3-4 hours of sleep, made it comprehensible.

Grace and peace.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Splendid Day

I say splendid day, well, because it was. The afternoon got started off with a trip to IHOP-Atlanta for one of their intercessory worship sets. It was good to be back at "the House." I haven't been back there since they left their previous location at City Harvest Church off Indian Trail Rd and moved into their new building, which is the old Crossroads Church. I had spent almost 2 years there as part-time staff, or "Family" as I was called, playing drums for 2 intercessory sets a week. Their new location is a little ways away down 316 and that is way too far for me to drive once or twice a week. I don't know why I just wrote down all of that pointless knowledge, but whatever. This afternoon Caleb Andrews was leading worship. He is crazy good! I love his style of worship, and his voice is very unique and excellent. Not to mention his wife can belt it too! Anyway, so I was blessed just to worship with him again, but more than that, the Lord blessed me with the opportunity to just sit in His presence. Cause it was there...thickly (is that even a word?). I encourage any and everybody to go to IHOP. You will meet and become friends with amazing, genuine, Spirit-filled Believers, and the Lord will fall on you. You can check them out at www.ihop-atlanta.com. If you click on the "Music" section of their web-page, you will see that they have a CD of songs written by the worship leaders there. It doesn't say on their website, but the guy playing percussion on those songs...none other than yours truly. No big deal.

After IHOP, we continued down 316 to Athens, GA. We ate at 5 Star Day, enough said! If you have been to Athens and have NOT eaten at 5 Star Day, slap yourself. Right now, slap yourself in your face if you have not eaten there. Then, take tomorrow off from work and go eat there. I'm serious! After dinner we went to the Wednesday night service at the Wesley Foundation. Our own Elliott Dejarnett led worship with Tate Welling. Incredible time of worship! They did a LOT of old school songs, which are always good to bring back every now and then. Maybe I'll try to get some old school songs played at Riverstone (ie. We Make a Way, My God Reigns, You Alone, etc). Elliott is quickly moving up my top 5 worship leaders to play with (Kevin Mann and Tate are still 1-2 in my book). I also got to talk to Clay Kirkland, Aaron Biddle and Aaron Vickroy to cap off the trip!

It was so good to go back to Athens. I really do miss that place! Maybe I will move back there one day? Who knows?!!

But the best part of it all was having an evening of incredible worship and spending time with our INCREDIBLE GOD! I need to do it more often...

Grace and peace.