Daily Archives: April 15, 2010

The Master whispers…

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Mark 10:38 (The Message)

 38Jesus said, “You have no idea what you’re asking. Are you capable of drinking the cup I drink, of being baptized in the baptism I’m about to be plunged into?”  

” Are Ye Able” by Earl Marlatt   

  

“Are ye able,” said the Master,
“To be crucified with Me?”
“Yea,” the sturdy dreamers answered,
“To the death we follow Thee.” 

 Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
A beacon to God, to love and loyalty. 

 Are you able to relinquish
Purple dreams of power and fame,
To go down into the Garden,
Or to die a death of shame 

 Are ye able, when the anguish
Racks your mind and heart with pain,
To forgive the souls who wrong you,
Who would make your striving vain? 

 Are ye able to remember,
When a thief lifts up his eyes,
That his pardoned soul is worthy
Of a place in paradise? 

 Are ye able when the shadows
Close around you with the sod,
To believe that spirit triumphs,
To commend your soul to God? 

Are ye able? Still the Master
Whispers down eternity,
And heroic spirits answer,
Now as then in Galilee.  

The ONE thing I want to note here is that the Master is still whispering to us from eternity-still beckoning us to come into His presence-to be ONE with Him and Him alone.  This proves that He is still on the throne- that He IS listening-that He IS there- that He CARES, LOVES, and DESIRES for us to be in intimate communion with Him.  ALL of creation is crying out thier praises to our King…can you hear it? 

Hallelujah! 

O Praise Him!

He is HOLY!

I love, love, love you Lord!

 

  

 

  

Taste and see….

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In my previous post I quoted a song by Isaac Watts.  Isaac Watts was born in 1674  in Southhampton, England.  He wrote many hymns and spiritual songs.   He wrote the bulk of his music between the age of 20 and 22. 

When I came into work today one of the songs listed for the bulletin was: 

 Alas! And did my Savior Bleed? by Isaac Watts.

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?
[originally, For such a worm as I?]

Refrain

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.

Here is a piece of history about this song that I found on nethymnal.org.

[In] the autumn of 1850…re­viv­al meet­ings were be­ing held in the Thir­ti­eth Street Meth­od­ist Church [, New York Ci­ty]. Some of us went down ev­ery ev­en­ing; and, on two oc­ca­sions, I sought peace at the at­lar [sic], but did not find the joy I craved, un­til one ev­en­ing, No­vem­ber 20, 1850, it seemed to me that the light must in­deed come then or ne­ver; and so I arose and went to the al­tar alone. A­fter a prayer was of­fered, they be­gan to sing the grand old con­se­cra­tion hymn, “Alas, and did my Sav­iour bleed, And did my Sov­er­eign die?” And when they reached the third line of the fourth [sic] stan­za, “Here Lord, I give my­self away,” my very soul was flood­ed with a ce­les­ti­al light. I sprang to my feet, shout­ing “hal­le­lu­jah,” and then for the first time I real­ized that I had been try­ing to hold the world in one hand and the Lord in the other.  ( Crosby)

This is an example of how God uses gifts to speak to people.  Had this man not ever heard this song, that was written in the 1700’s, would his  soul have been flooded with that celestial light?  And would he have realized that he was holding the Lord in one hand and the world in the other?  Only God knows those answers and I am so thankful for the gifts that God has filled each of us with.  Never, ever underestimate the wonder working power of God as HE uses YOUR gift to reach the groaning and hurting world!  So, let’s put our hands together and do the work of the Lord by using our gifts to glorify Him!  It’s like baking a cake from scratch- every ingredient is important and it is only when all the ingredients are brought together and baked that we smell the delicious aroma and we clamor to the table for something sweet!  Our forks in one hand and our appetite in the other!  We prepare to DIG into the sweet treat that is before us. 

We are to be the same way with God Almighty.  When we arrive in His presence, He pulls us in with His tender touch and sweet fragrance and we open our arms wide and high, receiving all that He has to offer us.  Once we’ve had a little, we yearn for much more.  Our Spiritual appetites cannot be satisified with a little taste here and there.  He gives us the desires of His heart-by causing us to yearn and groan for Him.   Just as the earth is groaning today, each of us groans with every passing day to be ever nearer to God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.   

 Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Unwrapping God’s gifts

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Hello!

I’ve been taking the Experiencing God bible study and it is helping me to “unwrap” God’s plans for my ministry and life while I am here on God’s beautiful creation.  Like the earth, that has been groaning and exploding since God created it, I too have been groaning and quaking right along with the earth.  Not in a physical sense- but in a spiritual sense.    The bible study has challenged me to go where God is working and to adjust my life accordingly.  Henry Blackaby says that we are to listen to the last thing that God told us to do and do it.  We are to respond with immediate obedience. 

My reflection for yesterday was that I need to listen to God speaking to me and not people.  There are some people who can steer us in the right direction when we need it and God has sent those people to guide us.  Then there are people who just want to tell you what you should do because THEY think that’s what you should do.   Being a creative person I have trouble saying “NO.”   BUT…I am learning my limitations and boundaries with God’s help.  I am a people pleaser and I have realized that I tend to listen to others more than God.  But, then, who doesn’t do that?  In the past several weeks I have been doing what I call, “staying under the radar”- still around-but not taking on every job that comes my way just because I want to please people.  I have been quiet and am listening for God’s guidance and not the world’s.  I have had people ask me what’s wrong, am I mad, where have I been, etc. etc. etc..   No, I’m not mad, not sick, none of that.  All I can really say is that I am in a season of listening.  I don’t have a lot to say and I just need this time to be still and quiet.  I am perfectly fine and filled with the joy of the Lord.  Quite frankly, I am really enjoying this time of listening.  I love you all and you have all been in my thoughts and prayers. 

Yesterday I started reading a book called ” The Deacon’s Heart.”  It is about being a Deacon in the United Methodist Church.  The what, the why, the when, the how.  I can’t wait to finish it and am very excited about what I am reading.  I am discerning God’s call on my life and this book is tugging at my heart strings.  One of the things that I like is what this says, ”  The deacon, as defined by the United Methodist Church has one foot in the Church and one foot in the world thus creating a bridge between worship and work.  ( This is so me!) The authors suggest that the deacon is testimony to the sacramental nature of all creation.  All acts of love and justice point to God’s presence everywhere and in everyone.  Deacons are responsible for seeing that the community is faithful in sharing the gifts of love to all.  This bridge ministry of the deacon does not take away the ministry of the laity.  On the contrary, it exists to make more effective the ministry of all Christians.” 

As I read more,  I discover that Deacons specialize in ministry such as teaching, healing, music, art, youth, missions,  administration, publishing, writing, nursing, etc..   To me this is very exciting because we all have special areas of ministry and mine are in the arts and in designing worship.  When I do these things, my heart is full to bursting at the seams.  When I see that people are moved by creativity ( of any type, by anyone ) I know that God is the one doing the moving through the obedience of that person.  Last night I attended the Team Impact Crusade at the VFW.  One of the things that Ceasar said was that when we DON’T use our gifts to glorify God, then that means that we are NOT GIVING OTHERS the opportunity to receive a blessing through God’s gifts.  So, when we don’t use our gifts, we are taking a blessing away from someone else.  God is the one who does the giving and we are the ones who are to do the obeying.  I want to use my gifts to glorify God and to help others see God in a new way.  God has placed this desire in my heart and now He is guiding me to discover how to use that gift for a lifetime of ministry to Him and Him alone.  I have gone way out of my comfort zone to follow God’s call and I will continue to do that for the rest of my life.   The more I do, the more I want to do.  I see lives being moved and with each step I take, it brings me closer to Him.  God keeps drawing me closer to His bosom and today, I feel like I am under His protective Wing of Hope and Grace.  I just want to stay here for awhile and soak it up.   It is a season of listening, discerning and loving. 

” Come, we that love the Lord, 

and let our joys be known…

We’re marching to Zion…

the beautiful City of God.”

Isaac Watts

As I read this song and section of this book, I am reminded of our devoted musicians ( who are also artists) in our church…

” A music minister lives out his call from God helping persons to experience God’s presence as they make music together for a worshipping congregation of United Methodist’s.  He speaks of the music as ” offering another utterance beyond speech,” which best proclaims the Word.  He says we “offer our best to God and God’s people.”  He speaks with joy of trying to find new ways each week to touch hearts and minds through music that complements the biblical text for the worship service.  I came to this church bringing ministry as what I do.  Music is the tool of my ministry.” 

WOW! 

I toally “get it!”  I love music and how it speaks to my heart.  My tool is art and I intend to conitnue on this path that God is lighting for me.  I don’t know where I will end up- but God does!  If we never offer up our gifts…how can God’s people be transformed?  Think about it…

Your preacher is gifted in preaching, teaching and leading…

Your choir director is gifted in music, singing, arranging…

Your worship director is gifted in designing and creatiing a worshipful atmosphere…

Your SS teacher is gifted in leading and teaching God’s Word to His chidlren…

Your Missions Director is gifted in being a servant to the needy…

and on and on and on….

It is only when we use our gifts to glorify God that God can move people  closer to Him.

My prayer for the readers of this post is that you will be moved to discover your gift, to listen to God, to immediately respond and to bless others by using the gifts that God gave YOU to build up the church.  It is when we ALL come together as the body, under the head of Christ, that we can create a beautiful and meaningful worship service that glorifies GOD.!!!!