Only God Can Make Us Strong

Sunrise 9-16-14 Only God Can Make Us Strong Psalm 60:12

Another beautiful sunrise in middle Tennessee!

Only God …

When we do God’s work, God’s way – then it is the hand of the Lord that does the heavy lifting. The New King James translates Psalm 60:12 this way:

Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies. 

It is not by human efforts that we overcome, but by trusting in, calling on, and relying upon “Yehovah Tsaba”  – The Lord of Hosts, The God of Angel Armies (Isaiah 22, Psalm 148).

There is a spiritual war going on, but it can not be won by human means. It must be won by aligning your spirit with the Spirit of God.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

 

I Will Lift My Voice To Sing Your Praise

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I will lift my voice to sing Your praise, O my Strength—for You came to my defense.O God, You have shown me Your loving mercy. Psalm 59:17 I

Worship Insight:

Our only hope for protection and deliverance in this dark and evil world is The Lord My Strength.

In his circumstance of extreme distress, David chose to lift his voice, to sing praise to God.

Worship not only expresses trust, it builds up your faith, your “inner man”. By faith, we thank God for what He has done, is doing now, and is going to do.

The Earth Is Full of His Glory

Sunrise 9-10-14 Isaiah 6:3

Isaiah’s Commission

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips,and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Isaiah 6:1-8 (NIV)

Worship Insight

The vision described in Isaiah 6 is a seminal passage of heavenly worship.  It is a Theophany - an appearance of God. [from 2 Greek words, theo="God" + Phaneo= "appearance"= "Theophany"].

The Lord is calling Isaiah to a longterm, strategic prophetic mission. His divine encounter with the Almighty God will forever humble and sustain Isaiah through the difficult assignment ahead.

Isaiah’s calling was unique. But so is yours and mine. The same God calls us today to share His message.

Will your response be “Here I am. Send me” ?

About This Series: A daily “worship ritual” I practice is to listen to The Daily Audio Bible podcast, take a photo of the morning sky, find a meaningful scripture or quote (usually from the DAB), and share it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter.

In this series of  blog posts, I go a little deeper and share a worship related  devotional thought. Please comment and share! The Lord bless you.

HIs Banner Over Us Is Love

His Banner Over Me Is Love, Song of Solomon 2:4

He has brought me to the banquet hall;
        his banner raised over me is love. 

Song of Solomon 2:4 (CEV & NIV)

Today in the DAB we began the Song of Solomon. Penned by King Solomon and also known as the “Song of Songs”, it can be understood through various lenses – expressing initmacy between two lovers; an expression of God’s passionate love for Israel; and/or Christ’s passionate love for His bride, the church.

Worship Insight

In corporate worship we often focus on the transcendent attributes of God as majestic, holy, “high and lifted up”.

These sections of scripture also affirm God’s attributes of imminence – His passionate desire for personal, relational intimacy with you and me.

“His Banner” is a symbol of God’s loving protection.

So, revere God, but don’t be “afraid” of Him. Draw near to Him, come close to Him.

About This Series: A daily “worship ritual” I practice is to listen to The Daily Audio Bible podcast, take a photo of the morning sky, find a meaningful scripture or quote (usually from the DAB), and share it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter.

In this series of  blog posts, I go a little deeper and share a worship related  devotional thought. Please comment and share! The Lord bless you.

The Bottom Line: Worship God

The Bottom Line: Ecclesiastes 12:13

Here’s the bottom line: worship God and keep his commandments, this is what God expects of every person. Ecclesiastes 12:13

Worship Insight

21st century life can be quite complex. The advice of scripture? Keep it simple. Love God, do the right thing.

About This Series: A daily “worship ritual” I practice is to listen to The Daily Audio Bible podcast, take a photo of the morning sky, find a meaningful scripture or quote (usually from the DAB), and share it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter.

In this series of  blog posts, I go a little deeper and share a worship related  devotional thought. Please comment and share! The Lord bless you.

Nothing Is Certain In This Life

Nothing Is Certain in This Life Ecclesiastes 7:14

“Nothing is certain in this life…”

The last few days in the DAB we’ve been reading/listening to Ecclesiastes.

Solomon’s ancient perspective encourages me through the stress, overwhelm and disappointments of 21st century life.

Life is hard, then you die. Make the most of the hand that you are dealt.

Worship Insight

Our times of experiencing the “nearness of God”, the presence of God – are precious.  Cherish those moments in every season and context.

About This Series: A daily “worship ritual” I practice is to listen to The Daily Audio Bible podcast, take a photo of the morning sky, find a meaningful scripture or quote (usually from the DAB), and share it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter.

In this series of  blog posts, I go a little deeper and share a worship related  devotional thought. Please comment and share! The Lord bless you.

We Are The Temple of The Living God

We Are The Temple of The Living God

God’s temple is not a building, but His spirit living within His people.

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”

[ 2 Cor 6:14, see also Lev. 26:12; Jer. 32:38; Ezek. 37:27, Heb 8:11, Rev. 21:3]

The context of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 is Paul’s warning against idolatry.  There can be no reconciliation of holiness with wickedness. They are incompatible.

Here’s the entire passage from The Message translation:

Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way:

“I’ll live in them, move into them;
    I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people.
So leave the corruption and compromise;
    leave it for good,” says God.
“Don’t link up with those who will pollute you.
    I want you all for myself.
I’ll be a Father to you;
    you’ll be sons and daughters to me.”
The Word of the Master, God.

Worship Application:

In these three proof texts, Paul gets to the heart of the matter – “what does scripture say, and how does that reflect the heart of God?” – as his grid for discernment and decision making.

There can be pressure – from inside and outside the church – to compromise our expression of worship, to mix the holy with the unholy. The plumb line is not what may please people or be attractional, but what can clearly be understood from scripture.

Why? Because we represent Christ – we are the temple of the living God.

About this series: A daily “worship ritual” I practice is to listen to The Daily Audio Bible podcast, take a photo of the morning sky, find a meaningful scripture or quote (usually from the DAB), and share it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter.

In this series of  blog posts, I go a little deeper and share a worship related  devotional thought. Please comment and share! The Lord bless you.

God Has Placed Eternity in The Human Heart

Ecclesiastes 3:11 Sunrise

“God has planted eternity in the human heart…”

This is that vacuum, that “God shaped hole” – the longing for GOD –  that has driven the impulse to worship from the beginning of human history. The religious impulse, the desire to “worship something or someone” is in our DNA. It has been expressed in every culture, nation, tribe and tongue for thousands of years.

Everybody worships.

The question is, what is the direction of your worship?

Is it to the One True God – or not?

Does your expression of worship lead you closer to the God who placed Eternity in your heart ? 

For worship leaders, this is important to understand. “Worship” is inside everyone we lead. Our role is to help them get it out.

About this series: A daily “worship ritual” I practice is to listen to The Daily Audio Bible podcast, take a photo of the morning sky, find a meaningful scripture or quote (usually from the DAB), and share it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter.

In this series of  blog posts, I go a little deeper and share a worship related  devotional thought. Please comment and share! The Lord bless you.

A New Creation Sunrise Pic

New Creation Sunrise September 1

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

About this post: A daily “worship ritual” I practice is to listen to The Daily Audio Bible podcast, take a photo of the morning sky, find a meaningful scripture or quote (usually from the DAB), and share it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter.

I’ll go little deeper with this practice for a season on the blog and share a devotional thought.

Going Deeper. As I’m writing, it is Labor Day, a holiday in the USA. A great time for some reflection and evaluation. I see the finish line for the year – massive “to do” lists, projects completed and yet to be completed. And I’m thinking/planning in more detail for 2015 and beyond.

My solace for the present – and hope for future – is in the goodness of God through Jesus Christ.

Because I am a new creation, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). So can you.

A Prayer For You. My friends I pray that you will finish this year, and your life, well. May He give you the desires of your heart.

“It Will Change Your Life” Romania School of Worship Testimonials [VIDEO]

Well, I’m back from Romania and it was just a fantastic experience. This video is a rough edit of testimonies from students at the 2014 Edition of the Scoala de Inchinare (School of Worship) in Timisoara, Romania. About 50 young adult students from all over Romania, as well as Austria and Germany, attended.

VIDEO: SCHOOL OF WORSHIP TESTIMONIALS 2014

The main take-a-way?  This is a ministry opportunity that is changing lives in a powerful and effective way. The stories of God at work in the lives of these student are inspiring and encouraging. I’ll post at least one more article about this trip.

Ivalene and I have been invited to return next year (2015) for the 10th Edition. This is gonna be awesome! You can help us raise the necessary funds by partnering with us here.

 

Romania School of Worship: Week 1 in Pictures

Words like “exciting, joyful, worshipful” would describe the first week at the 9th Edition of the Scoala de Inchinare [2014]. Other words? Intense, busy and “lots of stuff to study”. There’s about 50 students present from all over Romania, as well as Austria and Germany.

Teaching Theology Level 1 Class

Teaching Level 1 Practical Theology of Worship; and Songwriting Worskshop

Teaching Level 1 Practical Theology of Worship; and Songwriting Worskshop

Student Worship Times

Scoala Student Worship Times

Scoala Student Worship Times

Studying The Word of God

Studying the Word of God

Studying the Word of God

Music Instruction: Keyboard Class, Guitar Class

Keyboard Class, Guitar Class

Keyboard Class, Guitar Class

Ana’s Vocal Class

Ana's Vocal Class
Ana’s Vocal Class

Guys Vocal Class

Guys Vocal Class

Guys Vocal Class

Drum Lessons

Drum Lessons
Drum Lessons

 Songwriting Everywhere!

Nicholas writing a song

Ligia and Team Pause Rehearsal for a Pic

Pausing from Rehearsal

Pausing from Rehearsal

Scoala Community Meal Times

Scoala Community Meal Times

Scoala Community Meal Times

 

Dinner Time !

Dinner Time !

Singing in the Dorms

Singing in the Dorms

Singing in the Dorms

 

Day 2 Snapshot, with Genu Olaria & Pica Mengher – Directors

Day 2 Snapshot; with Genu Olariu and Pica Mengher - Directors

Day 2 Snapshot; with Genu Olariu and Pica Mengher – Directors

Day 1 Snapshot: with student Paul, Raul leads a Rehearsal

Day 1 Snapshot: with Paul; Raul leads Rehearsal

Day 1 Snapshot: with Paul; Raul leads Rehearsal

My Midnight Arrival – no bags for a couple of days, no problem.

Midnight Arrival

Midnight Arrival

Hanging Out With The Olariu Clan Friday Night After a Hard Week of School

Fun with the Olariu kids

Fun with the Olariu kids

Find out how you can help support the ministry here.