Tag Archives: worship

WAITER!

Thank You, Father, for enabling me to get so much accomplished today. Everything is pretty much together for Sunday. Glad I can now just read through what is ready.

Matthew 2:1-12 (<<click the green)

It seems early to be reading through the first chapters of Matthew in that we tend to associate them with December and not September. Celebrating Your birth in December may be a man-made thing but regardless we can learn from the characters associated with Your coming to earth and the wise men definitely have some things to share.

It’s interesting to compare their mentality in coming to You and many of ours. They said, “…we have come to worship him.” They came to give. They came to honor. They came to extend proper acknowledgment of who You were (and still are for that matter). But why do we come to You?

So many times instead of bearing gifts, we come with our hands extended, expecting to receive.

Instead of seeking a church in which we can worship You, we look for what a church can offer us.

We are so full of ourselves that we demand that You show us who You are and expect You to give us a reason as to why we should stay around. We have the arrogance to say, “Here’s what the world’s offering me – can You beat it?”

Unfortunately, we seem to treat You more like a waiter than our Master and Creator. “Can I get a refill of my drink? I really shouldn’t have to ask. It’s your job isn’t it?”

Lord, may I never treat You like the genie in the bottle who is there to make my wishes come true. May I keep myself in the proper place of humility and contriteness. Lord, You love me, You sought me out when I was lost. When I come before You may it be with head bowed and eyes closed. Worship is do You. You deserve the best that I have to give to You. I don’t deserve anything good – only death and condemnation. But You graciously – mercifully – give good to me regardless. May I be a wise man as I come to worship You. Amen.

Sept 14th, Thurs, 8:28 pm

Hymns!

Father, I am grateful for having You with us today as we and family had a little outing. Thank You for good fellowship and Your protection and blessings to and from. Amen.

I make no apologies that I am a hymn guy. There is a lot of beautiful music out there, enhancing a plethora of worship services. Different things speak to different folk but hymns speak most clearly to me.

Growing up we sang hymns – and I am not a stick in the mud, they are just so full of solid theology and give voice to things that I think and feel in a form of testimony that I can think of no better way to communicate.

My father pastored several churches while I was growing up, lots of good people in West Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio. One of my favorites was in Parsons, WV, I graduated from high school there. A favorite part of that church for me was the choir – and oh, could they sing! I don’t think many of them read music but the harmonies that rang from the choir loft were heavenly! I think a lot of it was the fact that they weren’t just singing words and notes. They were singing from the depths of their hearts. I truly believe each person was singing their song!

At this point in my life, I can’t remember who sang what song. It could have been the choir, or the congregation or Mom and Dad singing a duet but one of my many favorite hymns is My Wonderful Lord by Haldor Lillenas. Here is a very nice rendition as sung by the Collingsworth Family.

I have found a deep peace
that I never had known
And a joy this world could not afford
Since I yielded control of my body and soul
To my wonderful, wonderful Lord.

My wonderful Lord, my wonderful Lord
By angels and seraphs in Heaven adored
I bow at Thy shrine
My Savior divine
My wonderful, wonderful Lord

All the talents I have I have laid at Thy Feet
Thy approval shall be my reward.
Be my store great or small
I surrender it all
To my wonderful, wonderful Lord.

Thou art fairer to me than the fairest of earth
Thou omnipotent, life-giving Word
O Thou Ancient of Days,
Thou art worthy all praise,
My wonderful, wonderful Lord.

My wonderful Lord, my wonderful Lord
By angels and seraphs in Heaven adored!
I bow at Thy shrine
my Savior divine
My wonderful, wonderful Lord.

Sept 4th, Mon, 8:45 pm

Truly Worthy

Morning has come, Father, and You have so graciously awoken me. You know how important our time together is and I am eager to do so no matter how much my bed may call out to me. Bless our time together, Father. Amen.

Revelation 4:6-11 (<<click the green)

Lord, there is much symbolism here. Just reading it is overwhelming and I can only imagine how the Apostle John felt. Just trying to visualize the “four living beings” in my in mind sends it reeling. But reading my study Bible* notes enables me to focus.

The entirety of Revelation points to You, Lord – who You are, what You have done and are doing and what You will do. You are the creator of everything that is – regardless of what we try to say. You are the sovereign Lord of it all and if we acknowledge it now or not there will come a day when we all will do so for there will be no room for denial.

These “four living beings”? They symbolize Your attributes – Your qualities and character. They lead us in worshipping You by proclaiming Your holiness. The lion symbolizes majesty and power, the ox symbolizes faithfulness, the human symbolizes intelligence, and the eagle sovereignty.

They and the “twenty-four elders” show us “where, why, and how to praise God.” We stop focusing on ourselves and focus on You – our perspectives are lifted from the “earthly to the heavenly.”

May these words guide me to praise You as well,

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
    the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” vs8

“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
    and they exist because you created what you pleased.” vs11

Amen.

Aug 14th, Mon, 6:26 am

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

Christmas in February?

Father, thank You for the wake-up call, Your love for me is amazing! I am so undeserving but You love me anyway… I pray that I can love You back today. May my life reflect that love to You and to everyone that crosses my path. Amen.

Lord, of all things Christmas has been on my mind. I know we are only a couple of months out from the day we celebrate Your birth but… Now I’m not thinking about gifts, or decorations, or music or anything like that but what’s been occupying my mind is the fact that we don’t give You the praise You rightly deserve.

My birthday was last month and I received cards and well wishes from lots of people. I was given several nice gifts and more than one special meal. People expressed their love for me in many ways. I had a very nice birthday. But…what if on my birthday, I had been for the most part ignored? What if people had referred to me but not really spoken to me or wanted to spend time with me? What if gifts had been given but not to me but only to each other, with very little thought of me whatsoever? What if lavish meals had been prepared and extravagant parties had been thrown but I had been left off the guest list? Woohoo, Happy Birthday to me! Right? WRONG! That would have been absolutely, positively awful! The worst birthday ever!

But isn’t that what we do every year to You? I realize that many of us strive to give You the love You so rightly deserve, acknowledging Your birth but also Your life and the sacrifice You made for us in giving of Yourself for us – taking upon Yourself the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

Even with those acknowledgments, we fail You. We think of ourselves way more than we think of You. You deserve our love and adoration – our worship – not just at the time of Your birth but with every breath we take. It is all a gift from You.

And now, two months out, we continue to do the same thing. We thought of you some then but is it any better now? Lord, help me to praise You today by living my life for You. May I honor our relationship by loving others as You love me. May I give of myself to those around me as You gave of Yourself to me. Amen…

Feb. 24th, Fri, 5:18 am

Impact of the WORD

As I have sat here this morning, Father, my thoughts have been on a friend who from our perspective unexpectedly crossed the threshold into Your waiting arms this week. We just never know when our time here on this earth will be complete. My friend was ready to be called home; he was Your faithful follower. May we all be ready to do the same and may we all be diligent in bringing others to You so they may be ready as well.

1 Peter 3:13-17 (<<click here)

Lord, in reading this passage and the coinciding notes in my study Bible*, it brings to mind once more my friend. His name is Kerry Hooper. I met him almost 30 years ago. He printed just about everything for a Christian bookstore that I worked for. The whole time I knew him, he lived a life worthy of the calling You place upon his life – both professionally and privately. He truly worshiped “Christ as Lord of [his] life.”

He lived out his faith and if anyone asked about his life as a believer he was always ready to explain it. Even after going into business for himself, he was truly a Christian businessman. He was upright and a man of integrity. He shared his faith in a “gentle and respectful way” with a conscience that was clear.

Kerry was a humble man of God, and I’m sure he was far from perfect – for none of us are – but his faith was genuine and it was obvious that he was a man after God’s own heart.

Lord, may I live out my life as a beacon for you. Help me to live out my life as Kerry did – as so many of Your followers do – may Your kingdom be increased as Your will is made known through us. Amen.

Jan 15th, Sun, 6:50 am