Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Seek and Ye Shall Find: The Revelation Song

"I have a smile on my face and tears running down my face from the strong presence of God in the studio today...God is moving!!!"---Kari Jobe

Now your probably thinking that,"Sure, God's presence is easily felt by Hillsong worship leader Kari Jobe because that's what she does everyday,lead thousands of Christians around the world into worship." But, you don't necessarily need to be a worship leader or singer in a worship band to experience God's presence in worship.
Any one of us can,the question is,"Do we want to seek Him?"

Last week I found myself in a conversation with a co-worker friend that quickly turned into something more thought provoking. What started out as a conversation about investigative journalism turned into a testimony by my friend about a life changing moment;searching for the father he never knew.

Within his college years he decided to search for his real father. He exhausted his search for over a year and a half. This was before the internet so he had to take a real journalistic, detective approach. After a long extensive search he found him living in California. He would then travel to the West Coast and meet his real father over lunch. Though they did not carry on a relationship after that lunch date, my friend came away with peace.

Have you ever searched long and hard for something? And I am not talking about just any inanimate object here, but something that brought meaning to your life?

One of the most powerful and easily recognizable worship songs out there today, and being sung in most churches, is The Revelation Song. I recently caught an interview(thanks You Tube)with Jennie Lee Riddle who penned the song. She described and pointed out that the ten years prior to The Revelation Song coming out in 2009, most of the worship songs were mostly prayer oriented. And many of those songs were filled with a lot of I and me in them; acknowledging us more than our Creator.

Jennie had prayed for a few years that God would give her the lyrics to a song that would bring us back into truly worshiping Him for who He is. A song that would magnify the One who is worthy of our praise by lifting up His Name,and give us the desire to seek Him more in our life and have that urge to see His face.
Hence some of the lyrics:

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

Holy,Holy is He.

Sing a new song

To Him who sits on heaven's mercy seat

Holy,Holy,Holy,is the Lord Almighty

who was and is, and is to come.

Seeking God through worship is what God longs from us. And when we do this our worship becomes a divine exchange between Him and us. An exchange where: we worship and seek after Him knowing full-well He is worthy of that praise for sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins so that we may have eternal life. And in exchange God fills us with His presence, His love,His peace, and tells us He loves us and cares for us, and is willing to go to bat for us within our struggles.

If you are a Believer yet find yourself: struggling and having no peace,feeling stuck in the mud, always thinking about yesterday and past mistakes,you will never have a better tomorrow. When you learn to put aside your selfish desires and find time to build a relationship with the One who created you,the importance of your desires will change and you will find yourself content and at peace.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mathew 6:33)

Such a simple verse. Such a simple task to do, yet we sometimes find ourselves negligent in wanting to seek after God and His presence or reserve it just for Sunday. But what if God were to reserve His grace,love and mercy to you only on Sunday? Would you be comfortable with just that?

The Revelation Song is a great reminder of why we worship the King. Give it a listen to, you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Doing the Right Thing has it's Rewards

Have you ever had the chance to net $250,000 and decided to just do the right thing instead and hope for some kind of reward? Nope, me neither. But a Yankees fan named Christian Lopez did do the right thing.

The New York Yankees Derek Jeter reached an unprecedented milestone of 3,000 hits in his career in a baseball game last week. And for that storied franchise he was the first Yankee to achieve that milestone. One lucky fan named Lopez caught the home run ball and had an expensive choice to make. He decided to do the honest thing and give Jeter the baseball in return for some memorabilia. Lopez could have fetched $250,000 if he chose to keep the ball and put it up for bid. He chose otherwise,saying,

"It was the right thing to do. I wouldn't change anything."

Christian Lopez reward:

4 seats in a luxury box to all the remaining Yankee home games for 2011,including the post-season (which is always a given for Yankee fans)

a signed baseball,a jersey signed by Jeter, and a 2009 Yankees World Series ring

Nice reward,huh? Until the good old IRS came calling. Lopez stood the chance of paying heavily in taxes for his being rewarded for doing the right thing. Thankfully some folks stepped in to offer help and further reward him for doing the right thing:

2 memorabilia companies gave him $25,000 each toward his $100,000 college loan debt

Miller High Life and Derek Jeter will cover all of his taxes on his rewards

Topps baseball card company is creating a baseball card of Christian Lopez and promoting kids to do the right thing

As kids growing up we are always taught through our parents and teachers to do the right thing,even if there are no rewards of value;for self-value in doing the right thing is more important.

So here's to Christian Lopez for doing the right thing! And reaping some rewards in the process.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Paper Shredder Moment

I never thought shredding documents (financial,old business documents,tax forms) from the past could be so enlightening. This past Saturday I spent an hour(thought it would take much longer)literally shredding away my past. I had gone through junk I was holding onto that I should have gotten rid of long ago. One thing you should know is: I am not a pack rat and do not hold onto "everything",only important documents.

As I made my way through the box I began to realize that I had been through a lot and God was faithful through the hard times. I know where I've been,I know what God has brought me out of, and therefore I can now exclaim just as my Pastor always does,

"I don't have bad days!"

Once it is tattooed on your brain and in your heart of remembering what God has brought you through,you become consistent in your worship and gratitude toward Him.

Letting go of your past and looking forward is exactly what God wants you to do. It's like that old hymn that tells us:

the world behind me

the cross before me

no turning back, no turning back

Within Jesus ministry He told His followers: not to worry, look at nature and see how I take care of them, and He promised that those who seek God and put His kingdom first will have their needs met. Therefore, do not worry.

I believe that when we follow the seek ye first the kingdom of God pattern of life, He not only meets our needs, but over exceeds them to where He fulfills our desires, dreams, and goals.

If you find yourself in need of a soul transplant,find some old documents to shred and bring some of that old past you've been holding onto as well.

Life is for living,let go, and let God take care of it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

To All the Pups I've Loved Before

Lets face it, whether it's: a guinea pig, a dog, a cat, a bird, or a rabbit,they are our pets and we love them. We get so attached to them that they become part of our family.And though they are not considered human and we can't use them as a tax deduction,they do have a brain and a heart,and are able to show emotions.And in fact,Animal Behaviorist Specialists can now pin-point down to a science these animals behavior patterns. Everything from: which way their ears are pointed, their posture, and every which way that tail wags or wiggles says something emotionally.

In the last couple of weeks I've known 2 people who's dog died,one at 15 years of age and the other at 12 years of age. I like what the owner of the eldest dog said,
"My dog had been with me through some of the most difficult times in my life."
Sorry,if I sound a little partial to dogs, but I agree that dogs are some of the most faithful companions.

One of my favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone is the one that tells the story of the old man and his coon hunting dog Rip. The old man and Rip were joined to the hip, you could say. Everywhere the old guy went,Rip would follow. They loved going raccoon hunting together, it's what bonded their relationship. And hound dog Rip would do anything for his master.

One early evening Rip was chasing down a raccoon and the pesky critter led him onto a log hanging over a pond. The raccoon obviously made his way over the log but poor old Rip fell into the pond and disappeared. Rip's master jumped in to save his faithful companion and the next thing you know, they find themselves on Eternity Road.

As they travel down the road they come up to a gatekeeper, the old man assumes he is St.Peter. The gatekeeper exclaims,

"Oh, you can come in here. But you can't bring your dog with you. There's a special place for dogs just up the road."

Of course the old man wasn't about to enter without his faithful dog. And in fact, Rip begins to unnaturally growl at the man as if something were wrong. The old man rejects the gatekeeper's offer. As they travel further down the road they come up to another gate, and the gatekeeper allows the two of them to enter. The gatekeeper also explains to the old man that the other gatekeeper was not St. Peter,and that road did not lead to heaven.

"Why, Rip and I knew there was something strange back there.Who would ever suggest separating a man and his dog. It's unheard of!"

St. Peter leads them into the gate toward heaven and exclaims,

"A man, he'll walk into hell with both eyes open, but even the devil can't fool a dog."

On a recent trip to Sea World in San Diego, there is an animal act that outshines all of the other shows that consist of water animals. It's called the
Pets Rule Show. All of the animals used in the show were basic house pets and even included a pig. These animals were trained to do stunts such as:
obstacle courses,jump rope,stand up on their hind legs and walk like a human, and walk the tight rope. What was even more amazing was each of the dogs and cats were adopted from animal shelters,left behind just because their owners said they were not trainable. If only those previous owners could see them now!

Pets can easily be trained. All you need to do is show them some love and treat them as part of the family. Because in the end, that's what they are, part of the family.