Grand Canyon 2015

Grand Canyon 2015
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Join Us For Worship This Week!

Join Us For Worship This Week!
The Word of the Lord

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Good Morning, Lord!

Do you wake up and say, good morning Lord, or good Lord it's morning? How 'bout on Sunday morning? I've always marveled at the way that some people view their Sunday morning. Oh, for some it's about free time, football, BBQ's, bike rides or generally speaking anything they feel like doing. After all, it's the weekend. But for us Christians, it's a day of celebration, a time to enter into His presence with the congregation and marvel at how God chooses to meet with His people. And what about the results of worshipping together?

Psalm 68:35 says, O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary. The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God! The psalmist, having prayed for and prophesied of the conversion of the Gentiles, here invites them to come in and join with the devout Israelites in praising God, intimating that their accession to the church would be the matter of their joy and praise (Psalm 68:32): Let the kingdoms of the earth sing praises to the Lord; they all ought to do it, and, when they become the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ, they will do it. God is here proposed to them as the proper object of praise. (Matthew Henry)

Strength and power! Is that what you experienced last time you entered into the sanctuary to worship with the Saints? If not, we may want to rethink our attitude before entering the sanctuary. Oh, don't get me wrong, there are distractions, buzzes, noises, loud songs, bulletins, newsletters, donuts, coffee, parking lots, people movers, crowded hallways, kids running everywhere, announcements, etc., etc., etc! You know, we really have to focus through a lot of stuff to find God in it all. It is all for God, but at times it's just more stuff. All a matter of focus.

So let me ask you, this Sunday, what will you focus on? The stuff, or will you accept the invitation of joining in with the assembly and praising God, and will it be a matter of joy and praise?

I pray that you will be touched by the Almighty this Sunday as you look to God and say, You are awesome from your sanctuary.

Praising Him in the sanctuary with you,


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Who Are You Contending With?

Hey Worshippers!

Today I was reading out of Isaiah and it reminded me of some of my early childhood upbringing. There came a day when I began to wonder, Why? Now, you probably didn't ask your parents this, but as I began to have a little more confidence, I would ask why?

No you can't go outside and play, Why? No, you can't ride your bike to your school and back, Why not? No, you can't have that pack of gum, Why? As a parent, I now understand the exasperating look on my parents face as they continually said, "not today".

I have three children and a few years back my youngest asked if she could spend the night at a friends house. My "off-the-cuff" response, We'll See! Promptly, my oldest chimed in, "that means no". My delay-until-they-forget tactics had been uncovered. I was now being pressed to the issue of why. This dialogue would sometimes go on and on and soon would reach that all too familiar climax, "Because I Said So!" This emotionally-driven, argument ending proclamation would always conclude the conversation and hence put the final nail in the coffin of spending the night at a friends house.

In our Christian lives, we also ask, why? We go to the Lord and we plead with Him over various difficulties and challenges in our lives. We pray with discipline, looking for an answer. We, at times, fast in order to hear what God's answer to why?, might be. We even plead with God and use as coercion our loyal following of Him to get an answer, only for Him to stay silent and not answer. I've even been told, by Christian leaders, that I respect, that sometimes a no-answer is an answer, yet I'm left with the question, why?

Isaiah 45:9-13, says, "What sorrow awaits those who argue with their creator. Does a clay pot argue with its' maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, 'Stop, you're doing it wrong!' Does the pot exclaim, 'How clumsy can you be?' How terrible it would be if a new born baby said to its father, 'Why was I born?' or if it said to its mother 'Why did you make me this way?'" This is what the Lord says- the Holy One of Israel and your Creator: "do you question what I do for my children? Do you give me orders about the work of my hands? I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens. All the stars are at my command. I will raise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose, and I will guide his actions. He will restore my city and free my captive people- without seeking a reward! [he ends with an argument-ending proclamation] I, the Lord of Heaven's Armies, have spoken!"

Now, that is about the loudest "because I said so" that I've ever seen. I the Lord of Heaven's Armies, have spoken! Paul also emphasizes God's sovereignty in Romans 9:20-21 when he says, "On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

Our response to God, as a disciple, should always be, Lord, Your will be done. It's natural for us, just as our own children do, to ask why? At some point, though, the Lord will say, because I said so. It's not out of impatient, exasperating frustration. It is because He is sovereign, He loves us and knows what is best for each of our lives. He is not hampered by time and space, He sees so much further ahead than we do, fact is, He sees the entire picture. We can trust his direction. Let's trust Him today!

May you be at peace today, if God says, because I said so!

Becoming a disciple with you,


Friday, September 4, 2009

How Do You Enter?

Hey Worshipers!

Here's a question for you, how do you enter the sanctuary on Sunday. No, I don't mean, what door do you come in from. But, what's on your heart and mind as you make your way to the car, perhaps run through the drive-through to get your favorite Mocha Latte and then pull into the full parking lot at Wanamaker. As you get out, do you begin to imagine what could happen today during our celebration? Do you wonder how God might speak to you this day?, or is your mind on other things? Questions. . . So many questions and thoughts that plague our minds. What will I do with this job I'm in, or how will I find that job? The things that our minds get fixed upon and the trips around the world we can take in our minds, at times, serve only to engulf our imaginations and put us on pause over things that we wish could be and the disappointment and sadness that enslaves when we decide that those things just aren't in the cards for us.

Not everyone is a dreamer, like me, so I'll let you off the hook, but once again, I must ask, what occupies your thinking as you approach that moment of your week that has the potential to change your life forever. Doubt? Fear? Boredom?!

With our services being somewhat condensed at times, we must begin our journey toward worship at the moment we awake. Prayer can start the moment we awake, not so much kneeling beside the bed, etc., but just beginning the dialogue of the day with our Lord.

Psalm 95 says, "Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hand formed the dry land, too. Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care." If only you would listen to his voice today! [My Emphasis] This is our God, we are under His care, will you hear his voice today?

Don't miss it, this Sunday! As you awake, begin pondering how you may hear His voice. Ask yourself questions like, "What might God share with me today?" "Lord, How would you like for me to enter your sanctuary today?" "Is there something I need to confess to you as I make my way to 3501 SW Wanamaker road?" And lastly, "who might I encourage today?" You come into the assembly of saints with unique life and Christ experiences that may relate well to what someone else has experienced this past week. Will you encourage a brother or sister in Christ with your testimony of how God has been faithful to you? Let's be the body of Christ, this Sunday and everyday thereafter.

Entering with You this Sunday,