Tag Archives: focus

Is He Worthy of It All?

WORSHIP

They say it came upon a midnight clear on a silent night, a holy night.  It happened in the little town of Bethlehem and brought great joy to the world.  The first noel from angels we have heard on high sang as the shepherds asked those around them, “Do your hear what I hear?”. 

“Hark!  The herald angels sing, ” they said to the people everywhere.  For away in a manger lay sweet little Jesus boy causing many people to wonder what child is this and asking Mary, “Did you know?” Many traveled for miles, saying along the way, “O come let us a adore Him and proclaiming, “God rest ye gentlemen, for the King of the world has come!”  As three wise men followed the beautiful star of Bethlehem we are willing in our hearts to go tell it on the mountain for peace has come to earth.

Year after year we sing the traditional Christmas Carols mostly from memory not meaning.  Many of us learned these songs when we were very little along with Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is coming to town.  So this year I am pausing to reflect if these songs really have any meaning for me.  I love to worship.  I love to sing songs to the One who created us for this very thing.  Nothing brings me into the courts of His Presence like worship.  So today I ponder what all the fuss is about Christmas Carols.

In a way I feel like we should sing them all year round as a witnessing tool, after all they proclaim the birth of Jesus and what He came to do.  And personally do we even really know for certain December 25th is actually Jesus’ birthday?  But, let’s put all of that aside and truly focus on what Christmas really is.  Webster’s dictionary defines Christmas like this:

Christ·mas
noun
  1. 1.
    the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, held on December 25 in the Western Church.

In the description of Christmas it says celebration which means to me a happy, joyous time, yet so many spend the holidays depressed and unable to enter into the celebrations.  Many are wounded and are pushing Jesus away rather than bringing themselves into His presence and allowing Him to heal them.  Jesus came to save us from sin and in that moment on the cross he bore every sickness and disease.  To me this is cause for continual celebration, more than just a season of songs.

It matters not to God which song we choose to sing when we come into His presence it is all about the heart and a song which comes from a  place a gratitude and thankfulness.  It’s not about the tune or the lyrics, it’s about the attitude and motive. If we are just worshiping out of obligation or it’s just what we do on Sunday mornings our hearts may not be in it.  Worship is a continual succession of praise to God.  A moment to moment intimacy with God Himself.

So this Christmas season as we pour out our worship to God let’s remember His amazing grace and sing praises to His name.  Let us sing here I am Lord, come abide with me.  Sing to Him how great thou art and great is Your faithfulness.  Let Him know it is well with your soul and crown Him with many crowns.  Turn your eyes upon Jesus and sing holy, holy, holy.  Surrender  it all and sing hosanna!  Just tell Him that He is worthy of it all.

Dear Lord, it is with a humble heart we come to You asking You to show us what true worship is.  We thank you and praise you for creating us to worship and we long for a deeper intimacy with you.  Show us how to enter your courts with thanksgiving.  Teach us how to praise You.  We open our hearts to a deeper intimacy with You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Advertisements

Expired

Psalm 103:5

He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
042new
Ever wake up in the morning, jump out of bed, run around the house and praise God for a new day? For me, even though I am a morning person, this has yet to happen.  Usually I am trying to pry my eyes open wide enough to hit the snooze button for the third time before rolling out of bed to face my day.  Yes I have paused and been grateful for another day but never really have the attitude that I should have.
Each new day means a fresh start at what ever was going on yesterday.  Maybe we really made some bad choices concerning our lives and instead of dwelling on the what ifs or the how comes, we should choose to change our thinking and embrace the new day as a chance to do it again the right way.  Take a moment and just ask God what you can do differently today to make a change for the better.
I know sometimes it seems hard to put the past in yesterday.  We seem to carry it into our new day quite by accident.  It’s like we pack a suitcase the night before just in case we need these emotions for the next day.  God wants us to know that He wants us to live in today.  There is no yesterday and tomorrow is yet to come, for God it is always today and His desire is for us to live in the here and now.  He does not want us to be brought down by yesterdays mistakes but rather for us to lean on Him for answers.
When we begin to change our thinking towards each new day, we allow God to work in our lives.  If we were to wake up each day with the knowledge that what happened yesterday stays in yesterday, I think we could get so much more farther ahead in healing from our past wounds.  I think we would become more free each and every day and as this began to happen we could focus more on the things of God.
I fully know God gives us the strength to get through every day of our lives no matter how difficult we might make them.  He will be there when you first open your eyes in the morning and when you close them at night.  He is waiting to see you through another day.  Trust that He is working on your behalf and that you truly can leave the past right where it is in yesterday because you will not need it where you are going with God today.

Day 16: What IS the Real Meaning?

Luke 2:12-20

New Living Translation (NLT)

12And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” 15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
The Shepherds
Tonight I feel as though I was visiting with shepherds.  Truly these fit into the Christmas scene and are one of my favorite parts of the whole story because I can totally identify with them.  As you read the story of the birth of Jesus you can feel the excitement arising in the shepherds as they witness the angels singing and the realization that God has given to the world what He has promised them:  A Savior.  As they begin to rejoice can you imagine the journey from the fields to the manger?  I can see it as if I am amongst them.  I am a leader type person and I would just be talking about this baby the whole way there and back!
At a local church there was an illusion show and a concert this evening and my heart opened up again to the possibility of Christmas. Tonight for the first time since I began writing this blog, I am beginning to feel the Christmas Spirit creeping in.  Though I had a tough day with most of it being spent in hospitals caring for those important people in my life, I began to see the goodness in God as this concert unfolded.  33 Miles and Harris III put on a spectacular show for those who were there, however God started letting me see past the music and magic.  He spoke through the musicians and illusionist who in the midst of performing, showed how they felt about Christmas. When the lead singer began to share in almost exactness the points of my blog, I understood that I was not the only one with these feelings of how far off base we are from the real meaning of Christmas.
For a few moments tonight I felt as if I was witnessing the shepherds retelling the wonderful story of the birth of Jesus.  As they spoke I began to get this tingle again in my heart and my hope began to rise.  I knew God was poking at me to wake up and see I was on the right track, yet He wondered why I did not feel the joy of the season.  Like someone tonight said in this month of Christmas people are more giving, should we not be like this in all the other months of the year?  Christmas should be a year around gesture, not just for a season.  We learn from our blessings, we receive…the more we give the more we get in return.  Now I am not talking about money or extravagant gifts, I am speaking about the more we give with our hearts instead of our wallets, the more God can bless us.
So tonight I give thanks for the many who are current shepherds for Jesus.  I am grateful for those who can still be excited about the birth and have a hard time containing their joy.  I truly believe in the magic of Christmas as it has this way of capturing the hearts of those who witness it.  I am praying for all who seek something which is void in their life that they stumble upon a true shepherd, someone who can speak life into the Spirit of Christmas again.  One who knows why all of this came upon a midnight clear to begin with.  A shepherd who is so focused on the baby in the manger that the rest of the world begins to slowly fade away.

One Minute Alone With God

“[God Alone a Refuge from Treachery and Oppression.] For the choir director; according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation.” Psalm 62:1 NASB

(I love when the verse of the day is the very verse I need)

How Happy You Will Be After One Minute With God!

Continuing with the theme of taking just one minute to spend with God in the morning, I remember I had written something for my boss awhile back and thought I would share it with you.  This was written two years ago as I watched a very stressed man try his best to balance family, career and God.  Mark has now gone on to be with the Lord and he is dearly missed, but little reminders of him and his mannerisms still linger in my mind.  I wish I could have helped define more clearly the peace I had found since letting go of my marriage and letting God have total control.  I was beginning to walk down the road to recovery and I wanted to show Mark just how I was letting it happen.  I wanted so much for him to have peace in his life.

Beginning our day with God is one thing and it sets us in the right direction for a day which will be filled with His presence, however, some days are just bad and we need some extra time to soak in God.  In my profession as a restaurant manager, my days are fast paced and often hectic, not allowing for a whole lot of time to sit and contemplate the things of God.  So here is what I do, HIDE.  I take a moment in the freezer or the restroom or try to lock myself in the office for a moment.  If I cannot escape to any of these locations, well, I just start singing softly to myself, usually Amazing Grace or something other worship song (except for today when I broke out in “Old McDonald had a farm”) that is running around in my spirit realm.  Almost instantly my focus is regained and I am able to move forward without losing too much of my cool.

So here is what I sent to my boss in hopes of giving him some relief and a focus tool for when things just seems to be too much.  I hope it will be a helpful tool for you as well.  Be Blessed!

***********************************************************************************************

When things are not going as planned. Everything seems to be crashing all around us. Phone calls are disrupting our peace. One disaster after another, a continuous stream of fires to put out. This is when we need to close the door. Turn of the phone for just one minute, sit down somewhere and thank God for all the good things He as given unto us. When we begin to think of all the things God has provided for us, no matter how small or insignificant they may be, we begin to find inner peace.

As we mature into adult Christians this becomes easier. When we begin to know God gives us peace in an instant, then all we need is a minute to regain our composer so we can refocus our energies on positives in our lives rather than negatives. The world is cruel, things are falling apart all around us but how blessed are we that we just have to close our eyes and connect with God. Sometimes it just takes turning on a favorite Christian cd in our car or at our desk. Sometimes it’s going outside for a brief adventure, just to get a glimpse of what God wants you to see.

So when things are going completely in the wrong direction, just take one minute to thank God for whatever comes across your mind at the moment. Even if just thanking Him for the green light on the way to work so you were not late. Something as simple as thanking Him for the sunlight, the rain or even just the fact He loves you no matter what. I urge you today to spend one minute with God. Just one minute. You’ve got voicemail or an answering machine right? If it’s really important they will find a way to touch base with you. Just one minute alone with God can get you through hours upon hours of grief. One minute.