Thursday, October 25, 2012



It's when a baby wants its bottle
It's when my kids want their iPods.
It's when I want to fall asleep.
It's when my belly wants food.
It's when I want to lose weight.
It's when I want all the good things to begin and when I want all the stress to end.
It is the craving of so many categories of life.
Now seems like an unreachable fairy tale status.
Every part of life demands it, and we are keenly aware of how we are unable to deliver.
Yes, the now is in high demand.
And usually, we respond by ignoring the now.

We plan for days ahead and
we pine over days past,
forgetting that each of those are shaped in the very moments we are choosing to ignore.

Now is where the power lies...where the capacity for power increases exponentially, as we look face on at each moment.

We dream.
We wish.
We hope about the way things could be.
But the difference between a wish and reality is action:
Action in the now.

So, instead of excuses of why the future can't be what you hope,
and instead of excruciating remembrances of a past you wish you could erase,
start by taking a look at the now.

I, too, am guilty of ignoring the now.
Why? Because I am too busy stroking the later and beating up the past.

I have been asked so many times how to walk close with the Lord, how to get in His Word.
Most of time, a complicated answer and/or immediate major life overhaul is anticipated.
But the answer is simply this:

Today, choose a moment to do something differently than you did the day before, the moment before.

Things don't change just because of a plan or a goal; they change when you do something in the now to move toward that goal.

If you want your destination to be a certain place, then the choices you make day to day have to be those that will put you on the path to your desire.

Instead of focusing so much on what you hope to be,
or what you have been,
stop and decide what you will do NOW.

NOW is laying the foundation of your future.
NOW will also become your past.

The actions that come to define our past and set the trajectory of our future all happen in the NOW.

NOW is the time of action.

What one thing will you

"...Indeed, the 'right time' is now. Today is the day of salvation."
2 Corinthians 6:2

"So you see, faith by itself isn't enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless...we are shown to be right with God by what we do, no by faith alone."
James 2:17, 24

"For I am about to do something new. See I have already begun! Do you not see it?..."
Isaiah 43:19

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Well, What Do You Expect?

It's like a wall.
A clear plexiglas wall, that everyone is trying to pretend isn't there.
The Church, the Body of Christ as a whole, has grown comfortable with this unseen reality.

Even worse than the fact that it is accepted, is the fact that it is what is expected.

And when expectation is sucked out of the atmosphere, true worship suffocates.

Our words set to melody are canisters for life, but they depart from our lips empty, void of the ability to resuscitate and revive because they rise from malnourished, power starved lives bogged down in the pride of mediocrity...and viciously unwilling to let go.

The stench of death permeates the room.
The sweet aroma of living sacrifice is painfully absent.
And we label it "worship".

So...we grip the pews,
gripe about the form and formula,
gasp when the unexpected makes an appearance, and
gawk at those hungry enough to embrace it.

No style or form of music or service can diminish or enhance our One True God.
He is the same yesterday, today and forever.(Hebrew 13:8)
God is not more worthy of praise in one setting than He is in another.

So why, then, is worship with abandon an endangered species?
We are more dazzled by the how and the what....and we have forgotten the Who that leads us to the why.

From traditional, to contemporary, to modern, to may look different...but the pattern of low expectation amongst the individual Believer persists.

Platforms, performance, pleasantries, and practicalities become paramount.
They sneak in and taint the path.
These thieves allow us to see the way to worshiping "in Spirit and in Truth"(John 4), but scream out caution to our flesh that embracing anticipation is a path to reputation suicide.
We are warned by their presence that crying out in authentic expectation could possibly lead to an avalanche on this mountain of religious comfort we've created.

And so...we secure what we see as our plexiglas wall of protection, when in fact, we have just constructed a spiritual prison.

Predictable, proper, popular, and protected-this prison starts to look like home.
We take up the residence of limits.
We are consoled by the false comfort in familiarities.

Anticipation is a fading memory, if not a term completely undefined.

We expect nothing more than the prison we've constructed.

We are callous.

And the scariest part?
We are pleased.

After all, isn't that what authentic Christ Worship is all about: our pleasure?

What do you expect?

"The Lord says:
These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is made up only of rules taught by men."
Isaiah 29:13

"God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
John 4:24

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship."
Romans 12:1

"Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
'Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts...'"
Hebrews 3:7,8