Oct 31, 2012

Football in Texas - Taco Meat...Hahahahahahahhahaaaaha!

I'm a big fan of sports. One of my favorites is college football.

I had the privilege of living in Texas for 16 years.

This ESPN commercial made my day.

I miss Texas....

Oct 29, 2012

Christians...Money Matters

Image borrowed from http://campusexplorer.files.wordpress.com
Money matters...

Money matters more than sexuality, orthodoxy, or morality.

While it is true that morality matters, right theology matters, and sexuality matters, it is also true that how Christians deal with materialism and greed in the light of abject poverty matters.

Money viewed through the lens of the American Dream says, "I am entitled to my hard earned money." No one can tell me what to do with my money. Not even God.

Money viewed through the lens of scripture says, "I am entrusted with God's resources." Everything that we have, everything that we are is all from God. And God's expectation of Christ-followers is that we would invest ourselves fully for the cause of Christ and not that we would work for things that will all end up in the junkyard.

Richard Stearns, the author of The Hole in Our Gospel, writes, "The Bible devotes twice as many verses to money as it does to faith and prayer combined, and fully 15% of Jesus recorded words dealt with money, more than he said about heaven and hell combined" (p. 210).

So make sure that your faith is orthodox, that your theology is sound, that our morality and sexuality reflect Biblical truths. But don't forget that what we do with God's riches, how we steward his resources, and how Christians deal with greed and materialism in the light of abject poverty absolutely matters to God.

Money matters...

Oct 26, 2012

Leading Change Like Apple Not Facebook

I don't own any Apple stocks. I wish I did. Apple stocks have been one of the best performing stocks around.

I don't own any Facebook stocks. I'm glad I don't. Facebook stock has been tanking since Facebook first went public.

When Apple stocks do well, it makes me happy. When I read that Apple stocks are doing poorly, I worry.

Again, I don't own any Apple stocks.

What I find fascinating is the opposite is true with Facebook stocks.

When Facebook stocks and its value tanked, there was a part of me that secretly enjoyed that.

I don't know any of the workers at Facebook. I am sure there are many wonderful people who work for Facebook. And I do feel bad for them.

Then why is it that I kind of secretly take joy when Facebook stocks perform so poorly? What's the matter with me?

After all, I use Facebook daily. It is one of the most visited sites by me. And I enjoy all this for free. And yet when Facebook stocks take a hit, there's a part of me that delights in that.

What's up with that?

You see, the biggest difference is that when Apple introduces a new product or upgrades its service, I can make the choice whether I want the new product or new service. If I'm happy with what I've got, I don't have to make any changes. But most of the time, their new products and services are so awesome, I want to make the changes.

But with Facebook, the experience is totally the opposite. Facebook has made numerous changes whether I've wanted those changes or not. I had no say in how I control my experience with Facebook.

And the thing about Facebook is that it is all so very personal. It's my pictures, my updates, my stories, my thoughts, my friends, my connections that are there. It's not some arbitrary stuff. Those are all my personal things. And when Facebook arbitrarily changes my experience with my stuff...I feel violated.

So when Facebook's stocks take a hit, I take some mild pleasure in that.

This is huge for any leaders who are working to bring about change in their organizations.

The changes we work on ought to be more like Apple and not like Facebook. If people feel violated by the changes, we will become their enemies. But if people sense that the changes are for their benefit, the changes will be viewed positively and those changes will be desired.

It's all about involving people in the changes.

So leaders, continue to lead change. But do it like Apple, not like Facebook.

Oct 25, 2012

Lord, Speak to me...And Make It Quick!

Lord, speak for your servant is listening...right now...I'm listening....better make it quick...cuz I gotta go!

We live in the world of drive through Starbucks, fast foods, instant contact through twitter, FB, texting, cell phones.

We get annoyed when we text someone and they don't immediately text back.

That's the world we live in.

This expectation of instant response works its way into our spirituality. We all want God to speak to us, guide us, lead us. We just expect God to do it right now!

One of the problems with American spirituality has to do with the issue of depth...or more precisely the lack of it. Most of our spirituality is shallow because we don't invest the necessary time and intentionality required to go deeper in our relationship with God.

We all know in our heads that relational depth requires investments of time and intentionality. Where we have a hard time is in putting this to action.

The investment of time and intentionality is true of friendships, courtships, marriages, and yes, this is true of our relationship with God.

God speaks. God leads. God guides.

But we must listen. We must take the time to walk with him. We must make the investment of intentionally shutting out the rest of the world so that we can be with God.

You know all this already.

The trick is in making it happen.

So here's a couple of suggestions (I almost said "quick" suggestions, but I caught myself).

  1. Daily Quiet times - Set aside a time every day where you can get alone with a Bible, journal, and pen. I've tried lots of different things and have found that having a fixed time and a fixed place is the best way.
  2. Journal. Journal. Journal. I remember best, I reflect best, I hear best when I am journaling. I am pretty sure this is the case for most folks. Now you may be the odd person who reflects, remembers, and hears best in other ways, but from what I've read and experienced, most people do their best remembering, reflecting, and hearing by journaling.
  3. Try it for 30 days before you make a decision about continuing or quitting. 
I do my quiet time, journaling, reflecting, listening every morning at Starbucks. I get my cup of coffee, put on my noise isolating earphones, get my Bible, pen, and journal out and I do my thing. I love my mornings.

And you will too!

Oh, the places God will lead you to as you listen, reflect, and journal. 

Oct 24, 2012

Worship Wars...Nothing New

A prominent American pastor compiled this list of complaints regarding new music in the church:

  1. It's too new, like and unknown language.
  2. It's not melodious as the more established style.
  3. There are so many new songs that it is impossible to learn them all.
  4. This new music creates disturbances and causes people to act in an indecent and disorderly manner.
  5. It places too much emphasis on instrumental music rather than on godly lyrics.
  6. The lyrics are often worldly, even blasphemous.
  7. It is not needed, since preceding generations have gone to heaven without it.
  8. It is a contrivance to get money.
  9. It monopolizes the Christians' time and encourages them to stay out late.
  10. These new musicians are young upstarts, and some of them are lewd and loose persons.

The reasons above were adapted from a 1723 statement directed against the use of hymns! 

(Bob Sorge, Exploring Worship: A Practical Guide to Praise and Worship, p.137).
When we are at our wits' end for an answer, then the Holy Spirit can give us an answer. But how can He give us an answer when we are still well supplied with all sorts of answers of our own?

Karl Barth

Oct 23, 2012

Say No to Labels

Many in the PC(USA) are using the word "Progressives" to refer to folks who favor among other things, gay ordination and same gender marriages.

The reason why I refuse to use that language is because if that's who "progressives" are, then since I do not affirm those things, that then makes me what?

Regressive or anti-progressive.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am all about the church of Jesus Christ and my church doing its very best to discover new and better ways to proclaim and be about the good news of Jesus Christ.

That's the general problem with labels. Nothing quite fits.

So here's the thing.

I refuse to use the language of conservative and progressive.

I will stick to being a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ.

I am one who believes that the Bible is God's word to us.

I am one who believes in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ which makes atonement for the sins of those who believe Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Oct 22, 2012

The Most Important Question When Looking for a Church Home

Image borrowed from http://www.happynews.com
One of the realities of modern day life is mobility.

It's very rare for a person to never move.

It's very rare that someone would go to one church all their life.

The result is that most Christians will at some point end up looking for a place to call their home church.

One of the most common questions people ask when looking for a church is, "Where will I get my needs met?"

While this seems like a perfectly good question to ask, it's actually one of the most harmful ways to look at one's relationship to God's church.

You see, when you ask this question, you are a consumer and the ultimate judge of what is acceptable to you.

But you see, church life, discipleship is not about you. It's all about God. It's all about what is good and pleasing to God.

The proper way for us to relate to God is to ask "Am I acceptable to God?" and never "Is God acceptable to me?"

Also the reason why this question is unhelpful is because instead of making you an investor and a disciple, asking "Where will I get my needs met?" fundamentally makes you a consumer of what God can offer.

Imagine if the basis of your relationship with your spouse, your child, boy/girl friend, is "What have you done for me lately?" And if you don't contribute to make my life better, I'm out!

No relationship can survive that.

No relationship should endure that.

The most important question to ask when looking for a church is "Where do I feel most at home?"

As you check out different churches, you will know when you've come home.

  • It will be a place where you will be loved and cared for, but also a place where you will be expected to contribute and help with the chores. 
  • It will be a place where you can grow and be yourself. 
  • It will be home.

If you're in the Lakewood vicinity and you've been looking for a church home, you've got to come try the Little Church on the Prairie.

You belong here!

Oct 20, 2012

Stop Planning - Start PREPARING

You've all heard the adage "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

I no longer think this adage is true.

In a world that is changing as rapidly as ours, it is impossible to predict and plan for the future. 

Does that then mean that we are helpless to do anything about our future?

Of course not.

Stop planning and start preparing. 

No matter what the circumstances, you can prepare for a fantastic future. 

Moving into this emerging, constantly changing, unknowable future is kind of like improvisational music. 

When you get a group of amazing musicians together, no one has any idea where a set of musical chords can take them. But the music doesn't just happen. In order for these musicians to go where the music will take them, each invested thousands upon thousands of hours practicing and putting in the hard laborious hours with chords, scales. And it's precisely because of their hard work that they are prepared and ready for wherever the music takes them.

I believe more and more, that this is what our future looks like for our churches and organizations.

Where as, in the years past, it was the leader's ability to plan that led to a successful future, more and more, it is the leader's ability to prepare themselves and their organizations for an unknowable future that sets up their churches and organizations for a bright future. 

What we must do as leaders is to prepare our churches for wherever the Holy Spirit will take us by preparing our congregations in the basics of a biblical world-view, prayer, worship, and service. And as we invest hard laborious hours with the basics, we will be most prepared for whatever the Holy Spirit has in store for the future.

And should the church be prepared, the Holy Spirit has some beautiful music in store for the church of the emerging future.

So stop planning and start preparing for God's wonderful future. 

Oct 19, 2012


Image borrowed from http://hopehomesusa.files.wordpress.com
In our rapidly changing world, one thing is certain: what used to work no longer works.

Where this is particularly true is when it comes to how organizations relate to their employees and people.

Richard Pascale relates:

  • Macy's rulebook is an inch thick. 
  • Nordstrom's rules can be summed up in two sentences. Rule 1: Use your good judgment in all situations. Rule 2: There will be no additional rules.
Guess which company is better prepared for the future?

What does your organization look like?
  • Do you trust your people to make good judgment?
  • Do you hire and attract people who will make good judgments and empower them to do so?
  • Or do you have to spell out what your people can and cannot do?
Use your good judgment.

Oct 16, 2012

Loving Father...

Image borrowed from http://resources.lifechurchindy.com
I love being a dad. It's one of the greatest privileges on earth. There are few things in life better than being a dad.

As a dad, I prefer to interact with my children is as the fun-loving, goofy, cool, awesome dad I am.

But because I am a father, and because my kids are kids, there are times when I have to lower the boom and be the disciplinarian.

I make it clear to my children that what I prefer is being the fun-loving, goofy, cool, awesome dad. But if they so choose, I will be the disciplinarian.

It really is up to them how I relate with them.

The same is true of our God.

God prefers to delight in us and be a loving Father to us. However, because he loves us, he will discipline us if he must.

God says, "See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because the sin of my people?" (Jeremiah 9:7).

The question is, how do we want God to relate with us?

As a loving Father who delights in his children?

Or, must he be one who refines and tests us because our sins and disobedience?

It's really a no brainer.

Oct 11, 2012

Tasty Communion?

Image Borrowed from http://1.bp.blogspot.com
I love tasty foods. Who doesn't?

If I have the choice between tasty foods and non-tasty foods, that's not a choice - that's a no-brainer. I'm going with the tasty morsels every time. And I have the waistline to prove that.

I'm working on finding healthier choices that are also tasty, but anyone who says healthier choices are just as good as the real stuff hasn't really tasted the good stuff!

I've been in some worship settings where they provided Gluten/dairy/flour free breads for those with food allergies, and I have to confess, I've never had gluten/dairy/flour free bread that can hold a candle to what we've been getting at the Little Church on the Prairie.

We've been using King's Hawaiian Bread for communion.

I love that stuff!

I can't even get it at home because my wife won't buy it.

But is that what the holy sacrament of communion is about? Tasty bread?

LCOP will be making a change in communion bread so that those who have food allergies and are a part of LCOP can partake in the holy sacrament of communion.

You see, we've had brothers and sisters who have been members here who have not been able to take communion because of their food allergies.

Some have asked "Why don't we provide a separate loaf for those with food allergies?"

That's a fantastic question.

The reason why the pastoral staff is asking the entire church to adjust to a gluten/flour/dairy free bread is because communion is about our unity in the body and the blood of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul writes, "Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf" (1 Corinthians 10:16-17).

Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf...

The sacrament of communion visibly demonstrates our unity in Christ.

So here's what we promise.

  1. The worship committee and the deacons will do everything they can to get the tastiest gluten/dairy/flour free bread we can find.
  2. We will all partake of the same loaf to demonstrate our unity in Christ.
  3. We will remember to make communion not about the taste of the bread but about participating the unity offered in the blood and body of Christ.
We are one in Christ!

Jesus is Lord!

Thanks be to God!

Let us celebrate our unity in Christ!

Thanks church!

Oct 10, 2012

Why Do I Drive Past Two Perfectly Good Starbucks In Order to Get to "My" Starbucks? And What Can Our Church Learn from That?

Image Borrowed from http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn
I come from the land of Starbucks. There's a Starbucks pretty much everywhere you go in the Seattle/Tacoma area.

When I do a quick Google search for Starbucks around my house there's eight to chose from within ten minutes drive from my house.

The thing is, I drive by a couple of Starbucks in order to go to "my" Starbucks. So I've been wondering why I drive past two perfectly fine Starbucks stores to go to my Starbucks. And what makes my Starbucks, my Starbucks?

First of all, I prefer my Starbucks because it's not as noisy, crowded, and busy as the other Starbucks around me. I normally read, write, and reflect while enjoying my coffee and I find that I can do that better at my Starbucks than at the other ones closer to my home.

But one of the biggest reasons why my Starbucks feels like my Starbucks is because I know most of the baristas there. As soon as they see me coming out of my car, they start pouring my Grande Pike and it's ready for me on the counter as I enter the store. Every time I am there, I am met with a smile and a friendly greeting.

Because of these small gestures of friendliness and hospitality, I feel more at home at my Starbucks than at any others. So much so that I drive past two other Starbucks closer to my home.

So the question for the Little Church on the Prairie is how can we help people feel the same way about LCOP so that LCOP becomes "my" church for folks?

How can we do our part to help people feel at home?

We have had, and still currently have, some amazing people who do a fantastic job of welcoming and greeting people.

One of the challenges for us is to have some younger folk step into the ministry of hospitality so that we can carry the ministry of hospitality into the future.

One of the goals of our ministry is, because Jesus is One who welcomes all, to do whatever it takes to welcome all God's people. 

Oct 8, 2012

Confession: I Suck at the Whole Waiting on God's Perfect Timing Thing...

My Beauty
Confession time: I suck at the whole waiting on God's perfect timing thing.

If truth be told, I always want God to act, and act in a supernatural way right NOW!!!

Intellectually, I get God is omniscient and sovereign and he knows what's best. It's just that when I am looking at our church I so want to see God showing up in a supernatural way to transform hearts and establish his kingdom here in Lakewood, University Place, Dupont, Tillicum, Steilacoom, and Tacoma, I don't know why God's taking his sweet ol' time!

Many of you know I love riding my bike.

As a rider, I ought to know better.

You see, for most of us riders, we don't ride because it's more comfortable than the car. We don't ride because it gets us to our destination faster and in more comfort.

The bike can't compete with the car for comfort.

The reason why we ride is because there's nothing like the ride!

  • the feel of the air breezing by
  • the sites, the sounds, the smells of a ride
  • the ability to feel the temperature changes around you
  • being surrounded by nature
There's nothing like the ride. 

For most of us riding, the point is rarely the destination. Sure, we do want to get where we're going. But the thrill of the ride is the ability to pull over at whatever catches your fancy and to enjoy locales along the ride. 

I can't think of a better reminder for the spiritual journey than a bike ride. 

The problem for me is that I get so caught up on the final destination that too often I forget to enjoy the ride.

The spiritual journey is all about the ride. 

We will all eventually get where God is leading us as long as we stay on the path. But life is to be enjoyed in the journey. 

It's the journey that makes church life so exciting, fun, heart-breaking, awesome.

Making a promise to self: Remember to enjoy the ride!

Oct 7, 2012

Have You Read Your Bible with SOAP?

Image Borrowed from http://www.theoaksonline.org
One of the axioms I live by is "Inspiration without Organization leads to Frustration."

When it comes to things like being a better dad, a better spouse, eating a healthier diet, being more fit...who doesn't want these things? Who goes around saying, I want to be big fat slob, an unloving dad or spouse?

So whenever we hear people encouraging and inspiring us to be these things without also showing us how we might become these things, it only leads to greater levels of frustration and guilt.

For many of us in the church, we know that we ought to pray and read the Bible on a daily basis. Often, those who are starting out on the faith journey start out with great expectations of how awesome their prayer times and Bible reading times with God are going to be.

But without some help in knowing how we are to read the Bible and make sense of what's there, this endeavor only leads to frustration. And eventually, because we know we ought to be reading and praying, but find it so dull and irrelevant, we start feeling guilty.

And every time we show up to church we are reminded over and over again of what a terrible Christian we are because we don't even read the Bible and pray everyday.

Inspiration without Organization leads to Frustration.

I have four children so one of the things we say a lot is "Have you washed your hands?" And since the youngest one is a boy, we now say, "Have you washed your hands with soap?"

To help with structuring your Bible reading and prayer time, ask yourself, "Have you read your Bible with SOAP?"

Start with one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) and make it your goal to read one chapter a day.

Here's a little acronym I learned from Pastor Wayne Cordiero that helps with Bible reading and prayer...SOAP.
  • S - Scripture. As you read the chapter, look for a verse, a word, or phrase that jumps out at you. Write it down in your journal.
  • O - Observation. Reflect and write about why that particular verse, word, or phrase is meaningful to you. You might ask questions such as, "What is God trying to teach me or show me in this passage?"
  • A - Application. God never reveals a truth to us to make us smarter sinners. Every truth that God reveals to us is for the purposes of changing us to be more like him. In this section, reflect and journal what God is asking you to do in light of what God has revealed about who he is and who you are.
  • P - Prayer. Close your time with God by telling him how much you love him and the truths you will apply in your life today.
I have used the SOAP acronym to help me focus my time with God.

I pray that it will help you as well. 

Oct 6, 2012

I Didn't Love God...

Image Borrowed from http://thepastorssnack.blogspot.com
The very first blog I posted was entitled, "I Didn't Love God."

That may sound strange coming from a pastor guy who pretty much blogs and writes about God stuff. 

In my quiet time readings the last couple of days, I've come to similar conclusions as the first blog. 

Every once in a while, I think this is a good reminder for all of us God loving folks.

Here's what I wrote back in August 12, 2007:

You know what I realized while I was on vacation? I realized that I really didn’t love God.
In fact, I hadn’t loved God for a long time. 

Don't get me wrong. I still read the Bible, I prayed, and I went about my Christian and pastor thing, but I really never spent any time with Him. 

It’s like we living in the same house with someone and doing all the same things, but never really talking about anything. 

I’ve been so busy doing my Christian thing...my pastor thing, that I hadn’t sat down with God face to face to listen, to talk, to laugh, to cry. 

I hadn’t done any of the relational things. 

I treated God like a book, a thing, and not the person He is. 

I have been working hard to remember that Jesus is a person, and it is that person I love. I want to know God’s heart. I want Him to know what’s in my heart. 

It’s been awkward at times because I didn’t even know where to start because it had been so long since I’ve sought intimacy with Him, but it’s getting better. I’ve been talking to Him much more and seeking Him out more. And seeking intimacy with God has totally changed my prayer life. I am happy to report that my relationship with God is improving steadily. I am learning to listen to His heart.

Oct 5, 2012

Basic Training

John Wooden is one of the most respected coaches of all time.

The "Wizard of Westwood" won 10 National Championships in a twelve year span. His teams won seven National titles in a row. They won 88 straight games.

Bill Walton tells a story of the first time he showed up for practice for Coach Wooden.

Coach Wooden had all his player sitting on the bench and then started coaching them on how to put on their socks properly and how to tie their shoes. Remember, this is when he had players like Kareem Abdul Jabbar on the team. And to Bill Walton's absolute shock, all the older players were riveted to Coach Wooden showing grown men how to put on a sock and tie their shoes!

Walton couldn't believe it! He thought it was all a joke.

But then he saw Lou Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) give him a look like, "pay attention and do it right!"

You see, Coach Wooden absolutely believed that great teams are great because they take care of the absolute basics. When other players are tripping over their shoe laces, when other players are sidelined because of blisters, his players would learn how to put on a sock and tie their shoes properly so that they wouldn't ever have to worry about those things while they were on the court.

We at the Little Church on the Prairie are going through a sermon series called Basic Training.

These things that God is showing us - caring for each other, worshiping, growing in word and prayer, serving, and giving - these things aren't things that super-duper Christians do. These are the absolute basics. This isn't special training for the special forces like the Rangers, or the Green Beret, or the Navy Seals.

Basic Training is exactly that. These are the absolute basics.

These things:

  • Made to Care
  • Made to Worship
  • Made to Grow
  • Made to Give
  • Made to Make a Difference
These are the absolute basics of who we are as Christians. 

Oct 4, 2012

Christian is Not Always Code Word for Crappy. Check This Out and Support a Good Guy

Click here to view the intro
I don't normally promote shows or products on this blog, but I want to share what one of my fraternity brothers is working on.

Guy works with Storehouse Media Group and they've put together a pilot for a TV show that will highlight love, family, Christian values.

Earlier this week, I blogged about what Erwin McManus said about Christian media - that Christian is code word for crappy.

Just as Erwin McManus materials buck that trend, I think this TV show will do the same.

Don't take my word for it. 

Check it out and show your support for a genuinely good Guy!

Oct 3, 2012

F.A.I.L. - First Attempt In Learning

If you are not failing, you're not trying.

The problem is not failure. Failures are absolutely necessary in order to make progress. No one succeeds all the time without failing.

In healthy organizations and churches failures at attempting great things are celebrated and welcomed.

In stagnant and dying organizations and churches everyone is afraid of failing. As a result no new lessons are learned, nothing new is tried, no progress is made.

The key is learning from failures.

The key is to not repeat and duplicate the same failures multiple times.

You want to keep failing forward until you get better at moving the purposes of God further down the road.

Leaders, it is crucial that you create an environment where people are encouraged to FAIL - make First Attempts In Learning.

Encourage people to strive after excellence and greatness.

Help your church and organization move the purposes of God.

Oct 2, 2012

Connecting with God is Not the Same Thing as Worshiping God

But I feel so much more connected to God when I am out in nature than when I am in church?

Ever hear that one?

One of the ways that I connect with God is through riding my motorcycle. There are few other activities that helps me connect with God better than when I am out riding.

So if you connect with God in nature, or on a sailboat, or out on the golf course, certainly do those things.

Do that which enriches your spiritual journey.

Just don't let that take the place of regularly showing up in the house of God on the Lord's Day.

Keeping the Lord's Day the Lord's Way is not a suggestion, not something we do when it's convenient, but a simple command by God.

This is what God's people do.

We show up to God's house to worship on the Lord's Day.

Hebrews 10:25 says it like this, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

The words "meeting together" is one word in compound word in the Greek. It is episunagogane.

  • epi is the word for "around" 
  • sunagogane is where we get the word for synagogue
Meeting together literally means, gathering around the synagogue. 

"Let us not give up gathering around the synagogue" so that God can recalibrate our hearts and minds. Let us not give up gathering around the house of God so that God can inject his hope and purpose into our lives.

You see, life has a way of sucking God's purposes and God's vision. Life has a way of covering up God's purposes for our lives with all its busyness. And unless we regularly set aside the time to be refocused and injected with the hope of Jesus Christ and his purpose for the world, we will lose hope.

You see, we have to gather around God's house to be injected with his hope and purpose at least once a week to be reminded that we were created for more than the mere accumulation of stuff, that we were created to make the world more like God's kingdom. 

So take your nature walks. Go sailing. Go play golf. Go ride your motorcycle. 

And do not give up gathering around the house of God on the Lord's Day. 

Oct 1, 2012

Let's Go to Worship

The Little Church on the Prairie
Let's go to worship!

Think about that sentence.

Let's go "to worship".

When you think of the phrase "to worship" are you thinking primarily of a place - The Little Church on the Prairie, First Presbyterian Church, First Baptist, Lake City Community Church, etc.?

Or, when you think of the phrase "to worship" were you thinking, let's go to a place in order that I might worship?

Put another way, when you think of worship, is worship a noun or is worship a verb?

There is a huge difference between the two.

When you think of worship as a noun, a place to go, then you think of yourself primarily as an observer. Your job is to show up, and as a passive observer, you become the primary lens through which you determine whether the worship was good or not.

  • Did the pastor keep me awake? 
  • Was the music good? 
  • Were the people friendly? 

When worship is a noun, you're the one who determines whether the worship was good or not.

However, when worship is a verb, when we are called to show up in order to give God our worship, then the only one who is in the position to determine whether the worship service was good or bad is God. The determining factors are not whether the preacher preached a good sermon (that's between the preacher and God), or whether you liked the music. The determining factors for what makes worship good is whether you opened your heart to what God wanted to show you, whether you were ready and willing to change the things that God reveals.

So which is it?

Is worship a noun or a verb?

In almost every instance the Bible uses this word, worship is a verb. Worship is what God's people do.

So you ready to go to worship?

We'd love to see you this coming Sunday!