Friday, June 18, 2010

"Quench your crankiness"**

I recently read a Reader's Digest article that mentions a study done on athletes who were given water workout during practice versus those who weren't. Those who didn't drink water had mild levels of dehydration like you or I might have if we forget to drink enough water during a busy day. The "no water" group of athletes experienced more confusion, anger, tension and mild depression than those who drank water.

Huh. So maybe when I'm feeling cranky I just need to drink a glass of water.

And maybe I am experiencing more than just a bit of physical dehydration. Maybe my crankiness is also due to dehydration of the spiritual kind. Maybe I've gone through one-too-many practices without being sure I'm drinking in the Holy Spirit. Perhaps I've tried to quench my thirst with busy-ness or good activities or some other alternative that may take the edge off, but never truly quenches my thirst.

So, what about you? Feeling cranky? Not drinking enough pure water?

Cup your hands and ask the Lord for a drink from His Living Water. Wait for Him to satisfy that (or those) dehydrated place(s) of your soul. Take time to drink deep. Then make sure you carry around that glass of Living Water with you throughout your day. Refuse all substitutes. And while you're at it, go grab a glass of H2O and as you drink it, picture the Holy Spirit quenching your thirst, both physical and spiritual. Thank Him for His refreshing presence and commit to staying hydrated today.

Jeremiah 2:13 "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."

John 4:10 "Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.'"

**title borrowed from Reader's Digest article in June/July 2010 issue pg 97

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Worship without Props

For the Essentials In Worship Leading Online Worship Values Course with Dan Wilt

I was at Jesus Culture last week with my oldest 2 kids. It was 2 1/2 days packed with worship, speakers, workshops, outreach...all of it extraordinary and life-changing. One of our sessions was with Jake Hamilton where he talked about the importance of worship without props.

Since we are to live our lives out of a place of worship, can we worship with no music? no instruments? no fancy band? no stage? Can we worship when things are hard? When we don't understand? When the music's not to our fancy or the lyrics are repeated too many times? Can we still worship when it's hot, when it's cold, when we're uncomfortable, hungry, thirsty? Will we still worship when God seem silent? When we don't feel like it? Will we choose to lift our voice in praise when offended? Sick? Tired?

Wednesday night while at Jesus Culture, something curious happened with my guitar and the bridge spontaneously began to pop off, warping the front, causing a crack to form. My guitar is now in the shop getting fixed, and I find myself without my main "prop" for slowing down and entering into an attitude of worship. More than once today and yesterday I've found myself missing my guitar and wanting to spend some time in worship, but I have moved onto other things since my guitar is gone.

Not having my guitar is a small thing in the scheme of things. I'm waking up to my own dependence on this prop of mine and have determined that tomorrow, or maybe even tonight after I finish writing this post, I will worship without props. It's not much of a sacrifice of praise, really. But it is good practice for the days when the props such as health and comfort are not around to put me "in the mood" for worship.

I can't help but think of the Matt Redman song "Heart of Worship." (lyrics below). May we all choose to cultivate a heart of worship, being willing to live a life of worship with or without props and to continually bring to Him who is Worthy of all our praises our simple offerings.

"Heart of Worship"

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart

I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worhip
And it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus

Verse 2
King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single breath