Tag Archives: worship

Underachiever Award Goes to: Brenda Czarniak 47th Year in a Row

2018

I am not one to set new year resolutions because I only find myself on the floor the eve of a new year making the same old promises to myself and God, knowing in the back of my head it is all just talk.  Empty, worthless drivel.  Goals I will not set incude:

  • I will not exercise more in the new year.
  • I will not take more walks then the year before.
  • I will not be any more organized than what I am at this very moment.
  • I will still wait for the last minute to do things.
  • I will not push myself to write.
  • I will not make all the right choices when it comes to healthy eating.
  • I will not stop coloring my hair and embracing the gray.
  • I refuse to set goals and ambitions for the new year only because I am afraid of failure and the mentally of “I can’t do anything right” haunts me year after year.  It is my wound and I have been protecting it all this time.  I cannot fail if I don’s set goals.  My wound cannot get any worse if I choose not to set things in motion for the new year.

There.  Now that I have established everything I am NOT  going to do in 2018 I feel so much relief.  No expectations to fulfill.  No standards to keep up with.  No commitments.  No chance of failure or not doing something right.  If I write, I write.  If I exercise, I exercise.  If I choose cake over carrots may the cake be chocolate.  If I get my desk organized then I will celebrate probably with ice cream.  No pressure. No problem.

EXCEPT

Psalm 42

1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
    They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

 

As deep cries out to deep, God calls us to higher and higher levels in Him.  He wants us to have everything He has destined for us to achieve.  He wants us to be healthy but it does not need to control our every thought.  I am sure He would like us to be organized simply to help keep us focused on His next step for us.  He wants us to be happy in our own skin and if something needs to change, He will lead us in that direction. At times I feel like such a mess almost as if I was an unraveled ball of yarn that someone took apart and then just left in a pile on the floor.  In and of myself I cannot put myself back into shape, I will need to trust the Creator to do this.  With that being said, if I spend 2018 just seeking Him, He will guide me in the right direction.

By me setting up goals and standards for the new year I am almost saying, “Don’t worry God, I got this! See You in 2019 and I will be ready to move forward with what you have for me.”

So what am I going to do in 2018?  Just be.  Just be in an attitude of gratitude.  Just be thankful for where I am at the moment.  Just be in an atmosphere of continual praise and worship.  Just be silent in His presence so I can hear the next step.  Just be content with what I have knowing God has some much more for me.  I am just going the be me and see what God does in and through me.  Romans 8:18 seems to be the verse for the year for our family.

leaf.png

My prayer this year for all of you reading this is for you to see making a new years resolution in a whole new light.  Let God into your goals.  Let God into any resolutions you feel you may need to make.  Just let God be in your life.  Just be in His presence.  Just be who He created you be.  You will discover in a very short time that His desires for your life are nothing like the standards of the world we so easily measure ourselves against.

Happy New Year! 

May 2018 show up in all it’s intended glory and show you who God really is.  May you be able to Just Be and pursue that which God desires for you to follow after.  May you find peace and joy in resting rather than working harder.  May you be blessed and highly favored as you begin to believe what God says about you rather than the world.  Most of all, I pray that you can Just Be.

Advertisements

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.

It’s A Cup of Tea!

relax

*To preface this blog post I must tell you this was  a homework assignment for a Bible Study.  The pastor explained a dream and part of it was explaining that there is a file drawer filled with answered prayers with our name on it.  The homework assignment was to answer this question:  What is the Lord saying about how I can obtain the file with unanswered prayers.  The following is my completed homework assignment.

When I was posed with this question of how to obtain the file drawer with all the unanswered prayers the first and most immediate response in my spirit was:

Matthew 6:33

 But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

For my study purposes I looked it up in The Message version of the Bible and starting at verse 30 and going to the end of the chapter, this is what we see:

Matthew 6:30-34 The Message (MSG)

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

The four main things I took away from this discovery were (1) Seek God, (2) Don’t worry “how” it’s going to work, (3) place your entire attention on God, not what is in front of you and (4) relax, stop trying to figure it out on your own.

Before I explain the four things I discovered I would like to take a look at the word “steep” for a moment.  It’s first definition is rising or falling sharply but that’s not what God wanted me to see, it’s the second definition:  soak in water or other liquid so as to extract it’s flavor or to soften it. Surround or fill with a quality or influence. To wet thoroughly in or with a liquid; drench, saturate.  So let’s call steep soak and reread part of Matthew 33:  Soak your life in God-reality.  Soak your life in God-initiative. Soak your life in God-provisions.

If we take this thought process and apply it to prayer let’s see how it works.  If we pray in an atmosphere of soaking in His reality, initiative and provision and follow these four points our prayer life should begin to change right before our eyes.  We could begin to gain access to those files of unanswered prayer quicker than ever before.

Step One.  When we pray we should seek God first.  What does this mean? It means lining our prayers up with the Word of God.  Seeking His Kingdom principles in our asking process.  If our prayers do not line up with the promises of God then how can we expect them to be answered?  If our prayers from the beginning are out of His will how could we possibly expect God to answer them without going against His own written Word?

Step Two.  When we make our prayer request known we have to let it go and not worry about how it’s going to work out.  If we followed step one then our prayer should already line up with God’s Word and He will be the One to make the final arrangements.  Here the key is to surrender.  When we learn to to let go of our prayers, God can move freely and in the way He desires without it becoming tainted with our own motives or how we think it should play out.

Step Three.  Pray with your entire attention on God and not the problem in front of you.  When we are staring at the very thing we are praying about we are not in surrender mode nor are we able to seek God.  We were not really designed to multi-task His plans.  We can’t be asking God to move on our behalf if we are sitting on the issue waiting to see if our ideas will work.

Step Four.  My personal favorite and most difficult step,  relax and stop trying to figure it out.  God desires us to operate from a place of rest.  Figuring it out requires work on our part.  Figuring it out on our own takes the seeking God part right out of the equation.  When we don’t let God be God we often delay the answering of prayers and complicate the process.  Always remember that His ways are higher than ours (Isiah 55:8-9).

To Recap.  Prayer is a four step process of steeping (soaking) ourselves in His Presence.  How are we ever going to get to the file of unanswered prayers if we do not seek God first, stop worrying, paying full attention to what God wants to do and relaxing in the knowledge of who God is (Matthew 6:32)?  Besides, to be in the file room itself means we have to enter into the Kingdom in the first place.

In the end when the prayer has been answered do we really want the credit?  God’s Kingdom in the one place where we want our credit score to be at zero.  We want to reside in a position of worship and thankfulness and the only way to do this is to give God all the credit for answered prayers.  This is why keeping our hands out of it is so important.

Seek.  Let Go.  Be Attentive.  Relax.

God has all the answers available to you and there is nothing for you to figure out so go steep in His Goodness.  Begin to extract His Word and let it saturate your soul.  Begin to drench your prayer life in His Kingdom.  Surround your life in God-reality.  Surround your life with God-initiative.  Surround your life in God-provisions.  Once you begin to do this your prayer life will become a cup of tea!

One Distracting Acorn

arrows

Ever have one of those days or SEVERAL of them when the enemy is just pelting you with everything he has and the pain is so deep you don’t know what to do?  Late for work. Car accident. Sick kid. Fight with spouse.  Rains on your outdoor plans. Over due bills.  Surprise debt.  The washer begins to leak.  The children are fighting.  Just one thing after another with no end in sight.  Yup!  Those are called fiery darts from the enemy.  Things to keep us distracted and defeated.  Ways of grabbing our attention to everything negative.

You may wonder why the title of this blog today is about acorns, well this is how God works for me.  I am currently in a campground in Michigan and it’s officially fall and the acorns are coming down like a severe rain storm.  It’s like living in the middle of a war zone and you are dodging bullets.  Okay I may be exaggerating a wee bit, but they are coming down all around us.  So this inspired me to speak about darts because this morning on our little texting group someone was under attack and I began to put two and two together with the acorn bombs going on around here.

Everyday the enemy bombards us with arrows.  Some of them are physical problems like our cars or appliances and others are mental defeats.  We get so bogged down and bruised, battered and beat up over things that realistically we should be giving over to God.  If we believe that it was all done at the cross then we must begin to understand that the devil has already lost the battle and he is doing his best just to annoy us and divert our attention.  We need to learn to use the greatest weapon we have in our possession: WORSHIP.

Worship is defined as:

Reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
Okay, this may ruffle some feathers but just hang out with me for a minute.  So how do we respond for instance when the car breaks down?  Honest first reaction..anger, frustration, focused on the problem? Am I correct in most cases?  We get caught up in the tragedy of the situation that we forget about the goodness of God momentarily.  Not many of us think to praise or worship God in the heat of the moment of our car becoming unusable, instead we begin to speak at the devil or the object and we actually fuel the fire the devil is trying to get started.  What happens when someone says a harsh word to us?  Do we immediately begin to proclaim who God says we are or do we receive the sting of the words just spoken?  Do get what I am trying to say?
So often we embrace the negativeness of the issue before we even think about applying God to our situation.  We get so caught up in the injustice of what is happening we forget we have the best ammunition in the world!  Praise and Worship!  If we could only wrap our minds around this we could begin to see positive actions in the fiery darts and send them right back to the enemy.  If the definition of worship is to honor then we need to address the situation right away with honoring God.  Thank Him for the car.  Thank Him that He is sending help to fix it.  Thank Him for being your provider.  When we do this we ignore the enemy and eventually get to the point were we don’t notice the darts as attacks but as opportunities rather to honor God.
Lord, teach us today the power of worship.  Let us begin to flow with praise and worship in any situation.  We acknowledge Father that You are our provider and the devil has no business messing with us.  Today we choose to praise and worship in every situation which arises which comes up in our lives.  We go into each day with our heads held high and our shields of worship raised.  Thank You for loving us and taking such good care of us everyday.  In Jesus Name we pray. Amen. 

Held Hostage

I recently ran across some old writings and I thought I would share some as I am busy trying to finish the 3rd book….Enjoy!

By Brenda Marie Czarniak on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 3:56pm

“Just take a look at Zion, will you? Centering our worship in festival feasts! Feast your eyes on Jerusalem, a quiet and permanent place to live. No more pulling up stakes and moving on, no more patched-together lean-tos. Instead, God! God majestic, God himself the place in a country of broad rivers and streams, But rivers blocked to invading ships, off-limits to predatory pirates. For God makes all the decisions here. God is our king. God runs this place and he’ll keep us safe.” Isaiah 33:22 MSG

heldhostage

Today church was just real.  Ever been in a service where you just knew God was there?  A moment in time where nothing seems to really make sense?  A feeling of a call to enter into what He has planned instead of the agenda in the bulletin?  A chance for the congregation to unite and become one living body to honor our God?  A slight glimpse of what is to come perhaps, a closer look at what God desires for us at a church gathering.

 

 

Today there was no sermon.  There was devotion.  There were announcements and worship was a gateway to the heavens.  Soon pastor was inviting the church to the altar and one thing led to another and we stood in love, singing songs, praying and wiping tears from our faces.  Wow, what a rush!  What a revival to the soul.  How humbling to the spirit that we could gather around the throne of God and worship, not worried about not receiving a word from a sermon.  God spoke in the tears.  He whispered how much He loves us in our ears.  He rendered our spoken words life!  He gave us scripture as He placed it into the pastor to speak.  God moved among us and we knew He was there.

 

 

I wish this happened more often.  Think of the pressure it would take off from the people who are responsible for Sunday  services.  If they would just come in and yield to the Holy Spirit and let Him run the ENTIRE show.  How much more healing could happen?  How much more free could God’s people become?  Getting lost in worship and leading the people of God right to the throne room where God could flood us with love and mercy.  Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with tradition and we need to be fed the Word, yet we need to be prepared to move in a different direction of God wants to do so.  We need to be open to the possibility that God does not want us to learn on a particular Sunday but to receive what He has for us simply by being obedient and surrendering.

 

I guess realizing God truly is in control makes more sense when a worship service goes like it did today.  I felt freedom.  I felt healing.  I saw peace show up.  I could sense a release happening as it swept through the congregation.  God is real and He wants to move among His people so that He may be seen and not just spoken about.  He longs for us to see Him in all His intended glory and if it takes moving the people out of there seats to stand at the altar for 45 minutes instead of listening to a sermon, then so be it.  God is God and that my friends is never going to change, what needs changing is our worldly views of what church is:  three songs, offertory, prayers, sermons and a dismissal.    Lately at my church even the Wednesday night services have been going late into the evening, being led by the Holy Spirit. Healing is taking place.  People are being changed and minds renewed with the right thinking of the things of God.

 

I pray your next service at church is taken hostage by the Holy Spirit and you begin to feel captured by what God wants to do.  Trust me you will come alive again with a renewed spirit.  I cannot convey in mere words the joy which is radiating in my heart from just coming from such a service.  God is not a boring God by no means, He spoke life therefore He desires to see life!  Dance before the Lord and make rejoicing noises, be free to sing and dance, after He created you for such a purpose!

It’s All About Me

Psalm 18:16-19

But me he caught—reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning. They hit me when I was down, but Godstuck by me. He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!
garden
I have come to the conclusion that no matter how hard I try to think I have it all together, God still searches for me.  Once I thought I had marriage figured out and took a turn on the wrong path, figuring God was unhappy I just continued.  Once I thought I had friends figured out, then I lost most of them, figuring God was still unhappy I just went along friendless.  Once I thought I had my job figured out, still confused at times on this one but now I know God has my back.
What changed?  Easy, I simply surrendered.  I gave it all to God.  He gave this life to me and once I accepted Jesus in to my life I was suppose to hand over my life to Him.  How did I miss such an important step along the way?  Maybe it’s because I was 6 when it happened.  Perhaps it was because I did not learn from the right church.  Or maybe, just maybe I had to go through some things in my life so that I would appreciate what I have now.
I won’t get into the death of flesh because to some it might not make sense, but we as Christians need to come to a place where we just surrender it all, trusting fully in God to take care of EVERYTHING.  Let’s take for instance when I told God after my divorce that I did not need a man in my life anymore.  I wanted to simply publish my books and travel the world speaking to churches.  Didn’t take long for God to step in and give my a second chance at marriage with a man who loved me as much as he loved Jesus.  God once again had a better plan for my life than I could have ever come up with.
So why am I still trying to pretend that I have everything under control?  I don’t know. Guess it’s just human nature.  Just recently I have been frustrated with my books not being published yet and have been pouting a bit.  I began to try to figure out and plan how it’s suppose to happen only to receive a word from God that I am to be thanking Him for publishing my books.  Sigh! Why is it always so easy?  Our minds want to figure it all out when if we would just speak things as though they ought to be instead of what we see right in front of us, perhaps God could move quicker on our behalf….
Whatever it might be in your life, began to let it go.  Start to thank God for you family being saved.  Start thanking God for finances.  Begin to believe that God is for you and not against you.  All He requires is obedience.  When in the same night I was instructed to thank God,  I was also instructed to just rest in Him I started to say all the things I needed to do and there was no time for rest, I began to let it go.  If God wants me to rest in Him then rest in Him I shall do.  I will up my worship and just rest in His lap, watching as He unfolds His plan for my life right before my eyes.

Is Your Issue Worth It?

Psalm 23:5

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
???????????????????????????????
The Scripture basis for this blog: 

Mark 5:25-35

New Living Translation (NLT)

25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. 26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. 28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

31 His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

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

We have been discussing honor and worship at revival these past few weeks and I have just been asking God to show me some things.  Last night we learned about going to church with an expectancy that God will do something, so this morning I went expecting.  I was not feeling well, my voice was sketchy and I asked God to heal my body before we even got to church…posted it on Facebook and everything.  As I stepped into worship this is what happened:

Firstly, I was able to sing…first sign that God was already at work. Secondly when I worship I get this sensation at first that I am pouring into God and honoring Him.  While this is happening there is a light which emanates from me and extends toward heaven.  Then as I choose to receive from God, the light reverses and I am just covered by His glory.  Today it was different.  As I was pouring in so was He and the light met in the middle. I was confused for a moment as I had not encountered this before, then I heard a voice say walk toward the throne.

As I walked in obedience I was brought back to a book I had read by Rick Joyner, The Call, which is about a vision of heaven he had.  I remember seeing all of these people surrounding the throne of God, important people from history and I could not help but think that I was somehow not worthy to be walking to the front, yet I continued to walk.  The closer I got, the more the  light  met and became circles and they radiated out in all directions connecting the worship and bringing it to a new higher level.  God was truly revealing Himself to me in that moment.

So, needless to say, worship was off the hook and wonderful and it brought revelation to me in another area of my understanding.  I sat down after worship and God showed me a hand reaching out from a crowd of people.  In my spirit I knew right away it was the woman with the issue of blood.  As I drew closer to see what God wanted to show me, He showed me there was a hand helping this woman touch Jesus and the following is what God spoke to me:

Like the woman who pushes through the crowds just to get to Jesus to touch the hem of His garment to receive by faith her healing–we should be pressing continually forward,  He HAS prepared a table for us AMONGST our enemies and He gives us the strength daily to overcome and push through anything the enemy has set out for us that day.  So, being set apart by grace, let the words of our testimonies help those hurting around us push through the crowd and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.  We as a body of Christ are to show the way to Jesus.  Let us love one another aside from our differences and begin to help others to reach out and touch Jesus for their healing.

Wow!  God was really speaking that we need to step out and step in to help others seek Jesus.  We need to realize that their issues are just as important as the one that brought us to God.  We need to have compassion for those who are searching for hope in this fallen world.  Are we willing to set aside our issues to help someone else reach out and touch Jesus?