Worship is not a church service. It’s not a spiritual song. Not a moment in prayer.
Worship is a condition of the HEART. It’s a constant mindset of GRATITUDE toward our creator and savior, Jesus.
And in my own personal experience, the some of the most POWERFUL seasons of worship have been the seasons filled with challenge, pain, and loss of clear direction. It’s in those seasons, when we’re able to STAY CONNECTED to the Father…remembering ALL the ways he has been faithful and provided…that re-directs our attention away from our own circumstances and onto the countless blessings that we so easily overlook.
I’m going to refuse to let my ‘Thank You’ be silenced today. I’d invite you to join me!
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The other night, I sat down to have what I assumed was going to be 20-30 minutes of prayer and reading in one of my devotionals.
Then, God showed up and decided to join me! What a novel concept.
I read one random page in my devotional book containing one particular scripture verse. Next, I felt prompted to check out the verse of the day in YouVersion. This was a different passage, but same theme. Huh?
I then decided I would pop my earbuds in and experience some worship music. You want to know something? The bridge of the song I chose relayed the exact same message as those two scripture passages! What the heck? You know God’s trying to get your attention when he puts the same thing in front of you 3 different times.
When God takes you down this sort of path, it goes without saying that it would be wise to pay attention more than usual. I would suggest, however, 3 things to avoid when he starts speaking this clearly.
- Avoid DISTRACTIONS – Remain in that moment as long as possible. But sometimes God catches us just as we are on our way out the door to work or an important engagement. In these times, it is critical that we come back to this moment and word with God as early as possible to allow him to continue speaking.
- Avoid HURRY – Don’t jump to conclusions trying to quickly decipher what is being said. The things of God are often quite large and can take time for us to truly gain a grasp on the specifics of what he is either telling us or asking of us. Be patient. Meditate calmly on his voice.
- Avoid PRIVACY – Shortly after you’ve had a bit of time to process what you are experiencing with God, go ahead and share it with 1-3 people. These should be individuals who you know love Jesus and who honestly care about you and your future. Ask them for their thoughts on what God might be saying. Then, look for a common theme.
What have your experiences been when God starts communicating in such a bold way that your mind and heart are simply taken captive? I’d love for you to leave a comment below.
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I’m just being real with all of you here. In the past 5 days, God has intentionally placed the same passage / theme right in front of me. Different messages. Different devotional books. Some might chalk it up to coincidence after 2 or even 3 times. But FIVE?
I wrote about it just a few days ago when it first hit me. Have you been there before?
When God sends me multiple signs, speaking the same thing to me over and over…..my natural instinct is to work hard at trying to figure out WHAT and WHY behind the message. But I continue to learn that this is not usually effective.
Here’s what I AM learning, though still not perfect.
- God rarely yells. He whispers. What do you and I tend to do when someone is whispering at us. We cup our hands next to our ear, turn our head toward them, and try hard to block out all other distractions to decifer what is being communicated.
- God’s timing is NOT going to accommodate our need to know now. We try to figure out what God is saying and then get frustrated when we don’t understand right away. He reveals whatever it is to us at the right time…NOT the desired time!
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Do you ever feel like the picture below? Too many things (projects, ideas, tasks, relationships) going on at once?
Me too! There are seasons in all of our lives when we need to work really hard and multitask through it all to accomplish something. But, there are also other seasons in which we need to PAUSE enough to evaluate our current PRIORITIES to make sure we are still on course with our PURPOSE in life.
Sometimes this means temporarily giving up things we enjoy to put more focus on the most important things. For most of us, this moment becomes pretty obvious once we take on one more thing that threatens the balance of all of it.
Recently, my wife and I decided to take a huge step of faith and co-write our first book! It will be about living a life of faith and healthy service in the Church while continuing to nourish a thriving marriage and home life. Personally, I am also working, finishing up my Sociology degree online, and starting a church leadership consulting ministry.
Unfortunately, this means I need to take a break from blogging for a while. This blog is more for me than anyone else. It’s been like a journal. But for those who read it, I do encourage you to stay connected with me on social media. I’m much more active in these places anyway. The book is scheduled to be complete by the first part of 2017.
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Enough about me. What about you? Is your current balancing act going well, or are there ‘plates‘ as risk of crashing to the ground?
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photo credit: http://www.lcius.com
I had a revelation today. Fat guys who run are a lot like entrepreneurs!
Let me explain.
I noticed a middle-aged man running this morning. He looked like he was about 40 – 50 lbs overweight. This was evident because parts of him were moving that really should not have been moving (if you know what I mean).
Amide this awkward moment, it dawned on me. He and I are a lot alike. Sure, I have a few extra pounds to lose too, but there was something else. He is obviously new to fitness and I’m new to the entrepreneur life. For this guy to lose weight he needs to stay motivated and committed daily. This applies to my entrepreneur efforts BIG TIME! And finally….good results come with time. He’s not going to lose 50 lbs over night, and I can’t expect to have a speaking / consulting opportunity every weekend right out of the gates.
It really is a combination of realistic expectations and diligent effort.
What are YOU working on right now? Do you struggle with staying motivated or unrealistic expectations? If so, you’re not alone.
Feel free to comment on this post below, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you might be interested in some personal coaching.
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photo credit: macsstuff.net