Monday, April 26, 2010

Directional Worship - Worship South

Depending on where you are in life, in the world, heading south will have one of 2 very different outcomes: very hot or very, very cold.

One places you at the equator, the intersection of the Earth's surface with the plane perpendicular to the Earth's axis of rotation and containing the Earth's center of mass, and the other at the South Pole, the southern point of the two points where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. (the other being the North Pole; duh!)

So, how would you know how to head South? Well, it all depends on what time of day it is. If it is morning and you’ve just watched a beautiful sunrise, turn to your right and start walking. If it is evening and you are experiencing a magnificent sunset, face the sun, turn left and then start walking. But here’s the thing: wherever you’re at, if you desire to head south, you must desire a world opposite of where you are now.

If it is bitter cold and desolate where you are now, you must travel until the sun burns your body and the air is full of sound. If where you are now the heat paints every vantage point wavy and blindingly bright, travel until you can’t feel your feet. Whichever the case, you must be prepared to receive what lies in heading south.

Your choice will be a revelation.

Your fuel will be determination.

Your goal will be unimaginable.

Your past will be never be same.

So it is with worship.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Directional Worship Pt. 2 - Worship East

If I was to try to head East, you would think all I have to do is look for the sunrise, right? Sort of. The thing that is easy to forget yet remains an incredibly important fact is that you have to go through night in order to experience the awesome wonder that is a sunrise. But…


There is a beauty all its own inherent in a night environment, but we are talking about direction. And without the stars, which can be a distinct possibility, direction becomes a very difficult thing to discover. The night can be very dark on many levels and its duration can be exacerbated by the depth of darkness. Indeed, the very definition of the word “darkness” begins to modify to the elaboration of our own thoughts. Where is the East now?! Where can we find the sunrise?! Why AM I HERE?!?!

To see the sunrise.

We must continually face the darkness. Peering, focusing at a fixed mark, though only hoped for, imagined in your heart. Fearlessly, courageously search the darkness

for the first glimpse of light.

There is the East.

So it is with worship.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Directional Worship - Pt. 1

Hey friends.
The next 4 pieces I will be sharing with you is from a group of devotionals entitled "Directional Worship". I wrote these last week on the inspiration that "If you want to know where you're going, you must first know where you are." But, indeed, sometimes, most of the time, we don't take the time to focus on our feet, but usually on the few feet in front of them.
With that in mind, lets look at our direction, or should I say, what our direction should be. Go West.

Worship West

If I was to find the cardinal direction “West”, my first thought would be to find in which direction the sun would set.

Why? Because there is only one direction in which I would find a sunset!

Sounds silly, right? Of course it would be the only direction to find a sunset!

But, indeed there is a secret to finding the sunset. Because, believe it or not, you CAN travel west and NEVER see a sunset.

That’s right. If you were to travel the same speed of the earth’s rotation but in the opposite direction, and start before noon, you would never reach a sunset.

To see the beauty that is a wondrous sunset, you must stop.

You must stop and wait.

You must stop and anticipate.

You must stop and prepare yourself.

And above all else, you must continue to face West.

So it is with worship.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


What makes Saturday different?
I grew up a Seventh-day Adventist, went through the whole educational system. Learned everything there is to learn about the 7th day Sabbath. But one thing, one of the many things, I could never answer was what did Jesus do differently on Saturday that He didn't do on any other day? How did He make Saturday special? I can only surmise His actions by what is recorded in scriptures; I wasn't there.

So did He heal more God-like on Saturday? No.

Did He preach more vehemently on Saturday? Well, there was that one time in a Synagogue where He read from Isaiah, and said that that Scripture was then fulfilled. But what He said to the money changers in the Temple was pretty "strong" and I don't think that was on a Saturday.

Did He stop working on Saturday? Probably when He was younger, like I did. And His dad more than likely didn't do any carpentry on Saturday, so if He worked with him, chances are He didn't work either. His heavenly Father, however, worked everyday, so when He was about His Father's business, it didn't matter what day it was.

That would make one think that Jesus didn't do anything different on Saturdays than He would on any other day. My humble opinion is this:
Jesus' life and work was not affected by the Sabbath, for Jesus is the Sabbath.

In Him is found all our rest from every possible weariness.
In Him is found Sanctuary from every possible enemy.
In Him is found restoration from every possible devastation.
In Him is found worship beyond any possible thought.

Every day. Always.

When I realized that, the sound of chains falling was deafening.

No more bound to the chains of time; hours... minutes.
No more bound to the inadequacies of my own strength, my own memory or my own conscience.
No more faced with the guilt of what I am not and what I cannot do.

My freedom, my hope, my salvation, my all is in Christ.

My Sabbath is every day because Jesus is my rest every day
My Sabbath is every day because Jesus has conquered sin every day.
My Sabbath is every day because Jesus is Lord every day.

The physical has been transformed into the Spiritual, retaining it's eternal importance, while opening our minds to the Father's heart.
Like the Temple. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Circumcision. (Romans 2:29)
Sabbath. (Matthew 12:8, 11:28)
Worship (John 4:24)

When Jesus is your sabbath, this war-torn world filled with weariness, stress, and hopelessness is constantly faced with the fact that you are constantly worshiping, communing, and resting. But not just you.

You, your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, your cattle, and your stranger who is within your gates.

Are you able to keep the sabbath day?
Are you able to keep Jesus?

Only one of these choices will save you.

Chose well and rest.

PS: For any of my Sabbatarian friends, please understand that I am not saying that worshiping on Saturday is wrong. It is not. If the gathering of the saints that you associate with gather then, good. Let that be your reason for gathering, not your reason to worship.
I am with Christ, worshiping Him fully on one day as well as another. My worship spills out constantly. I am not sinless, but I am always at the altar.
I feel that binding oneself to a 24 hour structure that is holier than any other day has the potential to lead one to think that Christ is somehow closer or more powerful at that time, which has no Biblical foundation. Or that holding to that day is a magical talisman that will thwart and prevent evil.
Christ is Lord always. The limitations are ours, mostly in our minds and mostly set by our own hands.
But Christ desires to be our Lord without limitations.

*Photograph property by Joanna Polevia of JP Photography

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Last Nail

How many times will we kill Him?
How long will the shouting go on?
He died only once, but will we
strike Him again
'till the blood on our hands is gone?

Guilty is guilty.
Guilty must pay
for the death of an innocent lamb.
We were the murderers but we got away
and into our churches we ran.

And there's no way that we can deny it.
No one can say it's a lie
We snuffed out the light
and could've sworn we were right
but we had nothing to swear by.

Don't let us do it again.
Don't let us go through it again.
We were so wrong, so guilty
we couldn't pretend.
And all these wounds that we cannot mend.

We are so sorry, Lord.

How many times will we kill Him?
How long will the shouting go on?
He died only once, but will we
strike Him again
'till the blood on our hands is gone?