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Friday, May 22, 2015

Thy Kingdom Come ?


Have you ever really thought about what you're praying when you say the Lord's Prayer?

We say ...

"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven..."
  .... but what does that really mean?


Are we really asking for God to bring a kingdom, His kingdom down onto the earth?  That seems so abstract as to not really have a meaning that we can pin down.  We know it's a good thing to pray but do we really understand what we're asking for?


Today I've been studying the word "kingdom."  I think we're trying to understand a Biblical word from 2,000 years ago with a modern definition.  As such we really don't get it.  


In the Old and New Testaments, the word kingdom, when it relates to the kingdom of God, is not talking about a place or a realm.  It's talking about the rule and authority of God.  So basically we're asking God to rule and reign in His authority on earth as he does in heaven.  Now think about it, doesn't that make more sense???

Thursday, January 29, 2015

So You Got Me Teaching Dance : Part One

Praise dance is about expression. 

The best way to express yourself is to find a song that truly touches you ...then dance from your heart.

That sounds simple doesn't it ?  

Only it's not that simple 
especially when you are trying to teach kids.


Kids these days are getting mixed messages all the time even in the church.  They see mom and dad and know that they ain't perfect and they see the "fakes" at church.  Parent's tell kids one thing, live another and threaten the kids if they don't keep up the charade.

And people in the church wonder what is wrong with kids... 


I'll tell you what's wrong..... WE ARE !!!


We want our kids to be in a relationship with God, we demand they act right and we threaten them with HELL ... all the while our relationship with God ain't all that good, we don't act right and we seem to have no fear of going to HELL ourselves.  And we think they are going to listen???


You may ask, what does all this have to do with praise dance ???  

EVERYTHING !!!


Kids praise dance is not about kids dancing 
and parents being proud. 

Praise dance comes from praise in a persons heart for the God their praise is glorifying. 

And praise dance from children is no different.  

So, why am I speaking so strongly? ... Because the majority of kids that I have dealt with are kids from the streets with street smarts. They have learned to look straight through the "masks" we try to wear and get to the true you.  They don't trust easy and they despise "fake" Christianity.  Don't be mistaken though, the kids in the church can see straight through too but they are more likely to not speak about it.  

So how do we bring the two together?  Let me answer that in the next section.


So, Lord, you've got me teaching praise dance, now what?  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

BUT GOD ...I Can't Dance !!!

What do you do when God has called you to teach kids ...

how to praise dance in the church...

AND YOU DON'T DANCE ?

 Well..... it's like this....ummmm...Ok God....

Really, I just have to laugh about the whole thing.  

     About 5 years ago, we had just left a big church that the kids had basically spent their life in up to that point.  Spiritually, they were disconnecting from everything, "church" and "God", so we had to do something.  

     We left and found a small church that seemed to fit.  It went through some changes while we were there like starting out as a small church in its own building to merging with another church. A year later the two churches split and it finally ended up as a church meeting in a hotel meeting room looking for a more permanent building.  
     
     As it went through its changes and variations we ended up at one point with a teen led dance group.  They did a lot of really good dances but the work to get a dance ready for every Sunday was grueling.  By the time we got to that last transformation of the church, the dance team was defunct as it's teen leader and their family were no longer there.

     Both my daughters had fallen in love with praise dance by this time and had come out of their shells. Praise dance is something that they had never had a chance to do before.  In the church they had just come from, praise dance was something basically only done by those who were taking ballet and they were not ballet girls. My youngest son was just beginning to get into dubstepping and now they had no outlet.

     I could see the desire in them to dance but no one felt let to step up.  My heart was being torn.  These kids were putting aside cartoons, tv time, video games and such to dance and work on choreography. I wanted God to do something!  

That's when I realized that it was strong on my heart because God was tugging on me to step up.  
BUT GOD... I Can't Dance !!!   

Friday, January 23, 2015

Without Breaking the Silence

You'll never really know how golden silence is in the busy hustle and bustle of every day.  


It's those rare times when you truly find the noise gone, ...
the voices pushed away ...
and silence surrounds you, that you understand.  


Silence is a gift, 

an opportunity to just commune with God ... 

no detractors, no one demanding your time.... 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lay It Down

     There is something so inherent within us, so hidden in many ways, that even when we give our lives to Christ and grow and mature in him, we still have to root it out at times.  What I'm talking about is self-centeredness.  Even as we grow and mature in Christ, the need to look to your own wants and desires first is there.

     In my many years in the church and in ministry I have seen more than my share of examples of this. At first it starts off as simple concerns for yourself above others but as you grow and mature as a Christian it changes.  We think that we've dealt with and overcome this temptation and then God gives us a ministry.  This is when it begins to sneak back in.  Many a church has had issues with different ministries within it's walls because self-centeredness has crept in.

You may ask, how?  How do you see it creeping in?

I'm glad you ask!  
     When God gives you a ministry/anointing, he gives it to you not for your edification but for the edification of the body.  If you bring that ministry/anointing into the local church then God expects you to submit it to the head of that body.  As Christ is the head of the church and we submit unto him, the pastor is the head of the local corporate body and Christ expects our submission to him concerning the corporate body.  

     This is why it's important not to hop from church to church hoping to find somewhere where they will let you do what you want.  It's important to truly find the local body of Christ where God wants you.  Bring  yourself into submission with the head of the corporate body and submit your ministry/anointing to the vision/mission of the church.  Then you can move forward in one accord and God's work cannot be stopped.

     Too many times though, this is not what we do.  We find ourselves a church that we think will let us do what we want.  We start our ministry there and then fight with the leadership because we want to do things our way.  We never come into unity because we are always calling it "my ministry." However, if you "have" a ministry, it is not yours... it has been given to you by God for a reason and that reason is not your glory.  God is a jealous God and will, if necessary, take it away.

     It's time we change our view on ministry and anointing.  As soon as you find yourself wishing that others would just get out of your way so you can do "your ministry".... lay it down.  Find your altar and ...lay it down.  Love and ministry and anointing are all things that are meant to flow through us to others.  Self-centeredness even in how a ministry is run can divert and contaminate what comes out of us. 
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