Beauty

Hollywood, Nashville, New York, and much of the modern church say you must be beautiful for me to listen to what you say.  The importance of your word is directly proportional to the face that speaks.

I would mention names but then that would take away from the honesty, heartfelt worship and real suffering that are a part of some very beautiful people.

My point isn’t to take away from what they say.

I don’t mean to offend, and I’m preaching to myself. But, if you’re “ugly” and you feel unheard, part of the problem is you.

Two things are at work. First, do you really believe in the God who called you? If you do, then preach it, sing it, live it, share it.

Second, who’s your audience? Who do you want for an audience?

Side note: I don’t accept that we have an audience of one. Remember, Jesus said we were to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. AND love our neighbor.

Where was I? Oh yeah…

I want the big audience. I want everyone telling me how great and deep and amazing I am.

I don’t want the audience that can only stand to listen to me for two minutes (unless I’m reading a book to them). Or the one that gets bored with my intellectual dissertation. Or the one that hates my God, my Bible, my faith, but still needs to see me love them.

We ask, “who am I? Why would they listen to me?” And allow ourselves to be quiet. We ask, “who are they that I should invest my time, pour out my heart and soul?”

I think it is time for the ugly to speak up, to let our voice be heard. We have a unique perspective on God’s love, His calling, a relationship with Him that the beautiful, the popular, the successful need to hear.

Most of them only see their ugly.

And as His light and live shine through us. . .

We become beautiful too.

Raise Your Voice

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph.6:12

So much hatred.  So much anger.

I’m reading the articles about the people calling for assassinations,  ranting, rioting.  It’s not the first time I’ve heard this.  We create enemies and feel so justified in our treatment of each other.

There are many reasons we worship.  God deserves our praise no matter what it changes, or even if it changes nothing at all.

But it does change us.  We can’t help but be changed as we focus our hearts and minds on the God of the universe.  We can’t keep further away as we bow our heads and bend our knees to such a great King.  As we breathe Him in, our hands naturally open  against the clinging, grasping, clutching that divides us from each other, and from Him.

So raise your voice!

When you hear the cries of accusation, the shouts of anger and hatred, shout your praise.  When you hear the confusion and fear that would tear our homes, this land, to pieces, sing your heart out.  When you can’t see a way through, when peace seems so far away, pray.  Pray out loud.  Pray hard.  Cry out to God!

Healing, unity, love are still possible.

We Give You

I write because I want to share what Jesus has done for me and through me.

I sing because I can’t seem to stop.

I laugh because God brings so many wonderful, silly, amazing things into my life.

I tithe because I don’t think this stuff is mine.

I practice because I want to get better.

I don’t quit because I know, one day, I’ll get through.

I pray because I know God hears me.

I read because my mind can’t slow down, can’t hear God’s voice.

I wait because Jesus is worth waiting for.

I don’t understand.  I hurt.  I get confused.  I can’t hear, can’t see, can’t believe.  But, God will make things clear.  He will show the reason for why, the purpose behind everything.  And I will trust Him, because He is ALWAYS faithful.

Retirement

Just when I think I’m getting over myself, I get hit with something else.  I’m reading in Leviticus and saw today that it was a stipulation for Priests serving in the Temple to retire by age fifty.  What, that’s ridiculous!  My inner response was incredulous, but deep down, it was fearful of God asking that of me.  Do you want me to “retire”, to not lead anymore, to not play or worship?

Understand, if God ever asks that of me, I would totally know why.  I’ve been a mess and remain a mess.

In that moment of fear, I felt His hand on me, “no son, not yet.”  

I don’t know about you.  But, if I’m eighty and can still play and dance and sing, that’s what I want to be doing.  I want people to see me on stage and know that my love for God went beyond looking cool, being a star, trying to get the girls.  And yes, all you worship leaders out there, we’ve all had some mixture of those motivations over the years, secret’s out.  When all that is laid aside, when those dreams and desires are gone and burned up, I want people to see that I, at the core of my being, was completely, certifiably, irreversibly insane for my Jesus.  I want them to know that His sacrifice is what I live for, His mission is my calling, His love is what I share.

I’m fifty-one.  And just getting started!

Boo Hoo!

Motivation 008Today is one of those days where I hear the voices telling me no one’s listening.  They whisper to me about mistakes, about failure.  They remind me how weak I am and tell me to quit trying.  I do not even want to write today.

I let you in on a little secret though.  I hear everyday from people around the world.  I have been walking in victory, storming the gates of hell.  I’m seeing break through in other’s lives.  I’m enjoying, and watching in amazement, the growth and strength of my children.

And yet, today, I’m discouraged.

I’m not God, so I can’t speak very authoritatively on this, but there is a purpose to my discouragement.  I don’t want anyone to spend even a second feeling bad for me.  I think God lets these moments in to see why we’re doing what we do.  For me, I sometimes live to see comments and likes, to see new followers and hear new voices.  But that isn’t why I do this.  It isn’t why I sing or play guitar.

I need reminded that the reason for my life is that I would live to serve Him, to know Him more, to see His light burn brightly in others.  I sing because I love Him.  I move and breathe because it is all I can do to repay Him for what He has done for me.

I don’t know how I would do it, but I would hope that if no one ever read anything I wrote, I would hope I would write just the same.  If my hands were broken, my guitars taken away, my voice silenced by disease, I want my life to be one of worship to my Jesus.  I want my heart to drip with joy and forgiveness seeping from me like nectar from a flower.

It is all I have to offer.

Let it be enough.

In Faith

I am struggling right now with knowing how to be responsible, take care of my family, and yet be a man of faith.  How do you leap off a cliff, trusting Jesus to catch you when it isn’t just you that dies if He says no?

I don’t believe that He will honor foolishness.  No wait, that’s not true.  He honors foolishness where He is concerned.  Doesn’t the bible say that He will use our foolishness to shame the wise?  Well, I guess to be more precise, it says that He will use what seems foolish to the world to shame the wise.  But then that brings us back to me being willing to act on what seems like foolishness.  Does it need to be acceptable to me for me to trust that God will enter in?  That seems backwards.  I should act on what God directs and know that He is in it.  I accept it because He has made His will apparent.

Ah, but there’s the rub, I’ve heard myself and many others calling something God’s will when it was only my own, their own will.

I love music.  I love to worship.  Is my desire to be a worship pastor something that I should act on?  Is it God’s will or is it mine?  I want it so badly that it clouds my reasoning.  God is using me in worship ministry right now.  I sing and dance and play for my church and find so much joy in it.  Why do I need to do it full time?  Why do I need to be paid to do it?  Is it God’s calling on my life to quit my job and seek to be full time in ministry?

There are two sides to my writing.  I figure things out as I write and I hope that it helps others figure things out too.  People have different callings, different purposes for their lives, different questions that they ask themselves.  My hope and prayer is that in me asking and talking that we will all come to see God for who He really is.  It is my dream that we would all go forward as people of faith, people that are confident in the goodness of God, the kindness of our Savior.

I don’t have the answers.

I do have my King.

Maybe the question is really, will I trust Him to get me where He wants me to be?  Do I believe that He is strong enough to move me and loving enough to want to get me there?

YES!  YES HE IS!!