Thursday, April 30, 2015

Living Worship

The Westminster Shorter Catechism states that
the chief end, or purpose, of humanity is
“to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever. "

Human beings were created to glorify God -- to worship Him.  
So how does this ultimate purpose of worship
 look in our everyday lives?  

The last thing I wrote about was worship,
in an intentional act of surrender,
which is a very real part of life.

 But as a mother (and homeschool teacher especially),
 my days often feel ordinary, routine, and repetitive. 
I am not always going through something gut-wrenching
that requires me to choose to worship through the pain. 

I am not always surrounded by visions of God’s majesty.  

Honestly most of a believer’s worship is not very glamorous or exhilarating. 

So how do we worship in the everyday? 
When we’re teaching school, doing dishes, grocery shopping,
-- all those mundane responsibilities? 
How does worship fit into LIFE?


Often when I pray with my girls at breakfast time,
 I ask that God would help us
to worship Him with our lives that day.
 When I pray that, it’s because of the first verse in Romans chapter 12. 
The one that says,
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, 
in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, 
holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” 

The word for “worship” in this verse 
can also be translated as “service”. 

That’s intriguing to me.

 If I want to worship God in my normal daily life,
 (knowing that worship is the reason I even exist)
this verse has a key!  All my ordinary day long,
my physical body is doing something. 
So here’s the punch line – am I ultimately doing
all I’m doing for God? 
Because if what I’m doing is for God,
then the very actions of my physical body are worship to God. 
Now that’s cool. 
I don’t even have to be deliberately thinking about God
to be worshiping Him. 

By the power of Jesus Christ in me, my very LIFE
 can be an act of worship to Him. 
Every little thing can be done to glorify Him.  

(On the other hand, life can happen isn’t worship to God.
 I know this very well!  But that’s a whole different subject.)


The Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Colossian people says it so well,

“… We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of
 his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,
 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord 
and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work,
 growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened 
with all power according to his glorious might 
so that you may have great endurance and patience, 
and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you 
to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness
 and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” 
Colossians 1:9-14

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Worship Part One - Praising God though the Pain

Is there picture or feeling this word brings to your mind?

Maybe you think of that feeling of awe when you experience
a breathtaking sunset knowing Who is Creator.
(I use the word experience because
knowing the beauty of it is something more than seeing.)

The smallness you feel when you stand on the top of a mountain
and look over the land below until it curves off the sphere of the earth.

Or that same feeling of smallness when you look up on a clear night
and know those sparkling specks are astonishingly gigantic balls of fire
 that are millions of light years away.
Maybe worship makes you think of the last time you were in church
singing about a God who left heaven and became man.
A man Who was wounded, pierced, and crushed for our sins. 
Maybe your hands raised in worship to this God
as you stopped singing because your throat was too tight
and a tear was slipping down your cheek.

These experiences are worship. 
These are beautiful times when worship is easy. 
When it just wells up because you know God’s goodness and majesty.
There are other times when worship is not easy.
 And yet we must worship.
 No, it will not look the same as the effortless worship that wells up in our souls.
 It is not painless.

These are the times when your heart is grieving.
 And still you trust the Lord’s goodness.

The times when your body is truly so weak and sick. 
And yet you believe God is faithful.

When life seems hopeless.
 But you cling to the Truth of the Word.

“Don't use your pain as an excuse not to worship;
you actually take your pain
and you bring it with you before the altar,
and you stand there with your pain and you say,
“Though all this is true, yet I will rejoice in You!”
 It is the highest form of worship that exists."
 (So sorry, I don’t know the author.)

I believe this. 

This is not mushy worship.
This is not a feeling that will leave when the singing stops.

This is where true surrender leaves you with peace in the pain.
Where yielding to God’s truth gives
hope that is deeper than the hurt.
I know personally the intense joy
of worshiping through the hard times.

 I know that it is not without pain.
Not without sacrifice.
 Not without total surrender. 

I would like to encourage anyone who might be
reading this while you’re going through your own sufferings.
Praise God right in the middle of your gut wrenching sobs.

There is nothing pretentious or artificial about this worship.
It is the real thing.

Worship Him for His goodness in the midst of your pain and weakness.
He is worthy of your worship.


“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually 
offer to God a sacrifice of praise
--the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”
Hebrews 13:15

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Pastel - I Heart Faces Entry

“Pastel” is the theme for April at I Heart Faces.
I chose this photo of my Cassie Jo
and her soft yellow chick.

(This made the top ten!)
I Heart Faces - Photo Challenges, Tutorials and Tips

To see other entries click the
I Heart Faces button.

 Photo Challenge Submission

This photo was submitted to the I Heart Faces photo challenge –

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