Dennis Muse | Dennis Muse My Blog
The blog of Dennis Muse. a follower of Jesus Christ.
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25 Aug 2016 Just say Yes

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 “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”  2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV

I think the ratio of No’s to Yes’ in our lives is like 100 to 1. And No, has no energy, not doing something is an emptiness and carries no weight. It creates a vacuum that waits to be filled by something. Something in us is searching for fulfillment and to give it a No, does not fill the need, the void. And like the bored child that is relentless saying are we there yet, can I have…., can I do…. until they get Yes, something to fill the void in them. And we find ourselves saying if I told you once I told you a hundred times, No.

The leader of my Wednesday men’s group shared something that caused me to be aware that in my own life, I spend a lot of time saying No to things. There are things I don’t want think about, so I have to say No to them…things I don’t want to feel…things I don’t want to say or do, see or hear…all requiring a No. A day spent in such wrestling is exhausting in the stream of one No after another. It is also frequently a path to failure, the same issues come back, again and again, requiring No again and again. No has no energy and it places the will in a position of weakness. The will was created to will something, not nothing.

The Apostle Paul’s observation that the promises of God are Yes, just might be the key to the daily struggle. The absence of sin isn’t the same thing as righteousness. Righteousness is a fullness and a presence of God-likeness. Sin itself is an emptiness, lacking God-likeness, the character of non-being. The spiritual life is fulfilled in righteousness – true rightness of being – living in the image of God.

A simple way of living this reality is to say Yes. If I do not want to do one thing, then what I do is say Yes to something good? If I do not want to think about certain things, then I say Yes to the thoughts I do want instead. I don’t fight the bad, the unwanted, I embrace, accept the good ones, the godly ones.

For example, if I do not what lustful thoughts, I don’t say No them, I say Yes to……

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

“I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.”  Psalm 77:12

“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” Psalm 119:15

So instead with struggling to say No a hundred times a day to lust, leaving a void in me hungry to be filled, I’ll be to busy with Yes to God, being filled with God’s righteousness, and have no room for lust.

Anything I do not want to do, example, Instead of No to gossiping, I say Yes to……

‘Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11)

‘Pray for each other.” (James 5:16)

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19)

‘Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12)

‘Encourage each other…”(I Thessalonians 4:18)

‘Build each other up…” (I Thessalonians 5:11)

‘Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)

‘Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)

‘Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8

‘Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…”(I Peter 5:5)

So instead with struggling to say No to gossiping,  I’ll be to busy with, filled with loving others, building them up not tearing them down.

Instead of No to hearing, seeing, and so forth,  I say Yes to God, to the word of God, the things of God.

And there is another step beyond. It is possible to say Yes repeatedly throughout the day. The simple phrase, “I say Yes to God,” carries a great deal of power. I want to make it a frequent confession in my day. That I say Yes to God. I say Yes to His word.

Then my life will be filled with life giving Yes’ and not empty, lifeless No’s.

My goal is to keep myself so busy saying Yes to God, the things of God, then there will be less and less room in my life for things that require a No. At the very least I figure I will reverse the ratio of No’s to Yes’, I’ll be saying a hundred Yes’ to every No. My day will be filled with positive God-likeness and not the emptiness and void of the No’s.

Ultimately it comes down to Saying Yes to….

“Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And that requires a lot of Yes’.

 

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22 Aug 2016 Identity in Christ Comes Before Activity for Christ

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What comes to mind when we think about ourselves is one of the most important things about us. In particular, what comes to your mind when we think about who we are in Christ is of greater importance.

I truly believe that most problems are traceable to uncertainty about our identity. We have forgotten who we are in Christ (2 Peter 1:9). When we forget our identity, like Jason Bourne, we should be relentless until we know it again.

We are often more drawn to what we can do for Jesus, rather than who we are in Jesus.

One reason we get so discouraged and frustrated in the Christian life is that we forget who we are. We forget that we are new creatures in Christ. We misplace the reality that by his blood, by his cross, and by his resurrection, we are new. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

We need to know that we are not our former selves. We are not defined by our former sins — or our present ones. No, we are defined by being in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9–11). We are not ultimately defined by our ethnicity. We don’t find long-lasting and enduring significance in our accomplishments, intelligence, or appearance (Galatians 3:27–28). We find eternal value, meaning, worth, and hope in who Jesus says we are in him.
Who We Are in Jesus

Paul in his letter to the Galatians takes a buzz saw to legalism and all its nasty knots. He does this by reminding the Galatians of their identity in Christ, showing how the gospel and all of its gifts to us are better than anything else we could build or find for ourselves.

Here are six identities that are now ours through faith — six things God says about us. Like a light to our feet, and a lamp to our path, these truths from God’s word can lead us back to reality, to comfort, to hope, and to joy.
1. We are servants of Christ.

After we are saved by Jesus, we are enlisted into his service (Galatians 1:10). We are now called to make disciples of Jesus (Matthew 28:18–20). We are called to spread his fame. We don’t live for the approval of men, but for the name of Christ. No Christian is insignificant. We are his servants.

When we evangelize, we are serving Christ. When we pray for a sick Christian, we are serving Christ. When we go to the homeless shelter, we are serving Christ. When we go to the pregnancy center and care for mothers, we are serving Christ.

Jesus says, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Matthew 25:35–36). And the people say, “When did we do those things?” Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).

2. We are crucified with Christ.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

We have been crucified with Christ, by faith. We live with him, and he lives in us. No matter where we go, Christ is with us, alive in us, at work in us. We are never alone anymore.

And we are crucified to the world (Galatians 6:14). The world has nothing better to offer us than Jesus. We’ve died to the ways of the world, how the world runs. We follow Christ now. We operate from his example, his priorities, and his words.

3. We are children of God.

Not like Jesus, of course; we are not God. But we are children of God, like Jesus, in that we are a part of the family of God (Galatians 3:26). We have all of the perks of being one of his own. We are cared for by God, led by his Spirit. We aren’t strangers, we are family.

God doesn’t save us and then kick us out. He saves us and then adopts us (Galatians 4:4–7). In the gospel, the Father-Judge declares us not guilty, and then he turns to us and says, “I want you to come and live with me. Welcome home.”

We are at home with God. In the triune God, we have a Father, a Brother, and Helper.

4. We are heirs with Christ of everything.

As Jesus’ people, he gives us all that is his. We are heirs of the promise (Galatians 3:29). Whatever belongs to Jesus belongs to you and me. The universe belongs to Jesus, and now, it belongs to you and me. Jupiter belongs to you because of Jesus. The Hubble Telescope is itemizing your inheritance. “So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. (1 Corinthians 3:21–23). We are Christ’s, and we are co-heirs with him (Romans 8:17).

So, it’s okay if you don’t have the best house in this world. Jesus has something better for you, in the city whose architect, community developer, and real estate mogul is God himself (Hebrews 11:10).

5. We are free.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1). We’ve been set free from the hideous rule of sin and Satan. Christ himself set us free — not our works, not the church, not ourselves. Only Jesus.

Legalism is slavery. Trying to be saved by works and do-goodery is nothing but rusty chains. Jesus shattered those shackles, and now we can follow him and walk with him. We live freely under the reign of grace, the rule of Christ.

Pornography, wheat beer, dark chocolate, clearance sales, and social media followers no longer control us. Jesus set us free from living for and finding fulfillment in things that moth, rust, trends, and death will destroy.

6. We are led by the Spirit.

Our lives, our thoughts, our emotions, and our actions are no longer chained to the sinful flesh, no longer pushed around by the law, but we are led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:18). The Spirit uses the word of God to lead us. We no longer have to rely on our own thoughts and desires.

The Spirit brings about fruit in our lives as we abide in the vine of Christ, tended by the local church, and watered by the living and abiding word. The Spirit weans us off the works of the flesh, and makes us more like Christ (Galatians 5:18–24).

Born-Again Identity

God has made us these things in and through Christ. Even though we will be prone to forget what is true about us now, we have been born again into these identities. Live them. Love them. Let them be more than Bible knowledge. Let them be a shield of faith to extinguish all the awful, deceitful warheads of the evil one. Know yourself — hidden in Christ, raised from the dead, and made into someone new.

Because what comes to mind when we think about ourselves is one of the most important things about us

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28 Apr 2016 Two Amazing Moments in our Encounter with Jesus

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Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

There should be two amazing moments in our encounter with Jesus, the day we get saved and the day we fully comprehend the wonder of His grace. When John Newton penned those iconic words back in 1779 and realized that such a wretched man as him could be saved he experienced the tremendous life changing power of grace. Once saved however many Christians go on to struggle day after day as if grace, whilst sufficient to save us, is unable to preserve us in that place of victory and righteousness. I have a bad day and immediately feel condemned and unrighteous and far from God. Or my struggle may be with sin that overshadows my faith so I lose heart because, however hard I try, I never seem to overcome.

Romans 5:2 (ESV)
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

The amazing thing about grace is that it doesn’t depend on how good we are but on how good Jesus is. The bible clearly informs us that God found nothing good in us and that even our best works could never be enough. Trying to be good didn’t save us; through grace we were made righteous – so living in daily victory is exactly the same. I can’t be good; I can’t be righteous, and all my righteous acts are likened to filthy rags. So what do I do? I simply reckon myself dead and I stop trying to be good, stop trying to be better and live everyday by faith. Paul says this life I now live I live by faith. God wants me to live everyday by faith believing that Jesus will live out His life through me. Christ in me the hope of Glory!

Romans 1:17 (ESV)
 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.

I live believing that I can’t but He can – I’m weak but He’s strong – When I put Jesus at the center of my life and start believing that through His grace he I can do all things we release the power of grace to overcome sin and live a victorious life.

If only I could grasp this victory daily – how much more I would see how amazing is grace!

 

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01 Apr 2016 How I started the day, The Word, Worship and the Holy Spirit

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Nothing better than starting my day in the Word, God speaking to me about His word. Then worship with one of my fave worship leaders at IHOP-KC, Lauren Holmes, the Spirit moving all morning, though His word, though worship, priceless.

And if that was not blessing enough, taking in the Passion for Jesus conference, God is blowing me away. God is so awesome.

Follow all that up with the EGS tonight with more worship and the Word, a Jesus feast today.

Update: It was a amazing day of fellowship with God, in His word, in worship, teaching at the Passion for Jesus session, then the EGS was so filled with the presence of God, the worship was filled with the Holy Spirit moving in us. God’s presences was like a fire in me all day. Nothing like spending the day in fellowship with Jesus. The Word of God working in you, realigning you all day.

Here is a clip of the Lauren from the morning worship.

 

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14 Mar 2016 Help Rescue Girls from Sex Trafficking

For three years I Helped Rescue teens from Prostitution, from the sex trade on the streets of Hollywood CA when I was in YWAM. I am a doer, I’m not one to just talk about issues, especial when it comes to ministry, God calls us to be doers. God put a fire in my heart about what was going on, on the streets of Hollywood, so I went and did something about it. I physically went out with others and rescued girls from prostitution, I went to them, looked them in the eyes and sought to convince them to let us help them, I wept with them, prayed with them and recuse them from prostitution. So I’m not telling others they need to do something about human trafficking when I have done nothing, not rescued even one girl. I did not set in a YWAM office, I lived in the house we housed the rescued girls and guys in, I was on the streets daily for hours reaching out to the girls.  I actually did something, I personal rescued 100’s of girls from sex trafficking and I know their stories. So I am not an armchair quarterback here, I have been on the front line, in the battle. I am telling you this problem is real, more horrendous than you can imagine, and most likely in you own city.

Floyd McClung, who started a YWAM ministry in Amsterdam taking on the sex trade there said, said “I have ministered and lived on a devil’s doorstep”, well I too have done that. (Centrum Of Hollywood the YWAM ministry I was in of was modeled after his)

But rather than write a bunch of words about the critical problem of human trafficking and forced prostitution, which is far worse today than it was when I was on the streets. I’ve decided to just post some pictures and infographics, after all, a photo really is worth a thousand words. Sex slavery and forced child prostitution is a bigger issue than most realize, and it is not just a huge problem over there, some other country, it’s right here in the United States. You most likely have human trafficking and child prostitutes right in your own city, you might drive right past it on your way to work, to church even. Work with men, even know men who are using the services of human trafficked girls, physically buying and using girls, or using porn that was made with trafficked girls, which also helps create the demand for more girls for the sex trade.

 

 

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Please share this with others, use it to start the conversation about this subject and maybe, just maybe that will lead to you to chose to do something about it.

To learn more about Human Trafficking and sex slavery, click on and check out some of these organizations:

Human Trafficking Organizations

  1. The A21 Campaign
  2. Not for Sale
  3. HookersForJesus
  4. Wellspring Living
  5. International Justice Mission
  6. Love 146
  7. Dream Center  (They are in my old rescue area Hollywood)
  8. Stella’s Voice
  9. COATNET
  10. Agape International Missions
  11. Covenant House
  12. Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking
  13. Compassion 2 One
  14. Joyce Meyer Ministries
  15. CBN Ministries

For those who want to do something, take it on face to face

 

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12 Mar 2016 The cross is at the center of my faith

 

As for me, the cross is at the center of my faith, belief and theology, the death and resurrection of Jesus is the foundation to how I read, study and understand Scripture .

Without the cross and the resurrection, there is no Gospel, the Apostle Paul sums it up like this, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Cor 15:14 ESV), “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14 ESV).

What Jesus accomplished on the cross and through His resurrection is central to everything to my life and faith for me. The death and resurrection of Jesus are not only central to Scripture and the Gospel, but are also central to learning who God is, what God is like, and how we are supposed to live our lives as followers of Jesus.

I believe that the key to learning scripture, about the Christian life is to see everything through the lens of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection.

I am still learning about the infinite ramifications of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and will continue to so all my life, and will continue to be surprised by new revelation and understanding till that which is perfect comes back, Jesus, or I stand before Him in heaven. Because I have only just began comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth of the gospel.

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12 Dec 2015 Early For Church, Never Just in Time

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I am not a get to church “just in time person”, and I detest being late, I arrive forty-five minutes to an hour early for church, I started doing that at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa all those years ago, did it at the Vineyard, and currently at the Encounter Service. Why, because I love God, passionately love God and I cannot wait to worship Him passionately with others who love Him passionately. And I am excited to gather with other believes, to gather with the body of Christ, that we can be mutually encouraged by each others faith, to get together with them and be the church together. I cannot wait to one-another them, to give and receive prayer, to give and receive a word from the Lord. To hear what the Spirit has to say to the church, for the Spirit to move among us, so I don’t want to be just in time for church.

I realize that we need each other, as the body of Christ, to help each other walk with Christ, live out the life of Christ, to become Christlike, walk through whatever challenges life presents us with. That’s not something I am going to stroll in for as though it’s not essential.

The scriptures tell us we are living stones that are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, is that something you want to show up for at the last minute, be late to? Not me, I can’t wait to gather with the other living stones to built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood together.

Like Friday night Encounter Service I go to, arriving forty five minutes to an hour early also enables me to get ready for Jesus and the body to come together, the worship team always does a sound check of two or three songs, I call it pre-worship. After the pre-worship, I open my bible get in the word, then get on the floor on my face and pray. I empty myself of the things of this world, come down from the jerks in rush hour traffic that ticked me off, get my mind, heart set on Jesus. By the time the service starts, I have already encountered God in the pre-worship, the word and prayer, my face is set like flint towards God.

So you could say when it comes to meeting with Jesus, gathering with the body of Christ, gathering around the word of God, I am like a true football fan. I’m a tailgater, I show up early, I’m excited, paint my face, bare my chest and paint it, get out my foam finger, my picket fence, I’m and hoping and holing, ready to go, fired up ready for church to start, ready to encounter Jesus, encounter the Holy Spirit in action. I show up early because I’m excited to gather with Jesus, with His church, hear His word.

Jesus is going to show up if it’s really is a gathering of Christ followers, Jesus is going to speak to the church, the Holy Spirit is going to be equipping and teaching, moving in power, gifts will be given. Worship will be going on, one anothering is going to be going on. Love for one another beyond the worlds understanding will be going on. People may be healed, maybe people will be baptized into a new life in Christ.

Do you understand Jesus will be there, Jesus will be there, JESUS Will Be There, the body of Christ will be there, my co-labors in Christ, the beloved of Jesus will be there, and I do not want to miss one minute of it.

 

Also read this post about church Rituals vs Relationship – Worship from the Heart vs from a booklet

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01 Dec 2015 Rituals vs Relationship – Worship from the Heart vs from a booklet

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Which of the two groups of people above would you say are passionately worshiping God, passionately loving God? If a non-believer walked in theses two services which one would they say, WOW, they really love God? WOW, They are passionately about Jesus? Which one would do you think they would say, I want to know about the God they are worshiping? Which one would you say God is up close and personal to them?

As for me, I would say the people on the Right, and not just because that is the group I am in. It has to do with who God made me, how I am wired and what I read in scripture.

Zephaniah 3:17 says ” The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love;  he will exult over you with loud singing.

Which group looks like they believe that, that God is in their midst? That God rejoices over them with gladness? Exults over them with LOUD singing? Which one looks like they are responding to what that verse says? Is the way on the Left how you respond to a God that is rejoicing over you with LOUD signing? Not me. To God in your midst? Not me.

Those same questions are at the heart of why I had no interest in every church I walked in to tell I was 25, and why had I a distorted understanding of church and God.

This is my story, my personal life experience.

I have walked into many churches like on the Left in my life time, that’s why I never liked going to church in my youth, my teens, up to my mid twenties. I found the “worship” boring, and dead, and I did not understand a word of the songs in the hymnal’s, like “Would He devote that sacred Head”, “For their feete runne to euil”, I would think who talks like that to anyone, especially to God? I would look around and everyone looked like that were mad, or depressed, and well, constipated. One thing for sure I never linked the joy of the Lord, God’s love, a expression of love for God, passion for God, or even God is love to them. I could not stand the worship time, so I was never part of a church growing up. I really believed God was harsh, unemotional, unloving, and very distant from man, He was just not someone you had a love relationship with, based on how the people were worshiping Him.

Then God lead me to Calvary Chapel, the first time I was there and I was blown away by the worship, for the first time in my life I witnessed worship. Because I had been to football games, I had seen what people are like when they are passionate about something, I had crushes on girls, I know how you act when your crazy about someone. And Jesus even tells us we are to love God even more than our loved ones. That first time I was at Calvary, I saw people who were passionately in love with God, crazy in love with Jesus, for the first time I saw people worship God with all their being. They not only looked happy, but were ecstatic, full of uncontainable joy, I knew these people had an intimate personal relationship with God. I know they loved God and God loved them, they were in a love relationship with God. That He was the cause of the passionate love they had for Him. I knew God had to be amazing to cause that kind of emotion in people. The songs were alive and personal from their heart to God, and in simple modern English that I could understand. I was overwhelmed, and I want to love God like they did. To know God like they did. Know His love like they did. And so for the first time in my life I became part of a church.

It’s been many years since that day I walked into Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, and I have grown in breadth and length and height and depth, in my relationship, and love of God, of my Lord and savior Jesus Christ, so thus has my worship.

I am by nature a passionate person, affectionate and romantic, when I am passionate about something or someone, it shows, so I worship with great passion, how can one not when worshiping the God of Creation, the God who came in the flesh to suffer and die for me. How can I not be excited, want to raise my hands to the one who was raised from the dead for me, jump with joy, dance with gladness, shout, cry, scream with arms wide open, proclaim my love to Him, be filled with joy and smile ear to ear. I must, everything in me cries out to Him, my love must be expressed with all my mind, strength, and body, and so I do. That’s me, how I roll, I cannot just sit in a pew unemotional, singing songs that are not from my heart, and say prayers someone else wrote.

Which group looks like God in inhabiting their praises like the bible says He will?  Come on, be honest. To me it’s so obvious it’s the ones on the Right.

 

worship_compare_2b

Psalm 16:11 says “in your presence there is fullness of joy” which group looks like is in the presence of God? Obviously the ones on the Right to me.

Who looks like they are gazing on the face of the One who sits on the throne? To me, there is only one choice in my experience as one who does, the Right.

My choices are based on my life experience, and how I am wired for love and passion, and my personal encounters with God in worship.

This Sunday I visited a church that a friend wanted to go to, his wife was out of town and he did not want to go alone, so I volunteered to go with. I had been to the church before 3 or 4 times, another friend of my use to go there.

Like before I did not like the “worship” part of it, you get a booklet with the worship time laid out for you, the words to the songs. It had words that the person up front read, and then the part the congregation would read, and prewritten prayers to say, even had a confession of sins for us to confess, just like the Catholic church. I just don’t like that, not my cup of tea as they say. To me it screams Rituals vs. Relationship, screams Catholic church, screams what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for what they did. Made Judaism all about a set of Rituals and laws to follow and do rather than have a love relationship with God. King David understood what it was all about, but the Pharisees did not.

The sermon was very good though, but I really did not like everything before that and after. As for me, if I cannot have the freedom to passionately worship and love God at the level my heart desires to. I would rather just stay home and listen to the podcast of the message later, if I am not going to get to worship God at the level everything in me scream to do and say, why even be there? And if there is not a time of praying for one another, for ministering to one another, that is doing all the one anthers in the NT like encourage one another, and build one another, then there is no reason to be there in my book (the book of Acts), Then all that is left is the sermon, and that you can hear at home, or on your phone anywhere. So that is why I would not go to that church, it’s just not me.

To just sit there week after week unemotional, un-passionately, sing songs that say nothing of the love I feel for God, I would explode, like the rocks I would have to cry out praises to God, shout out the Name above every name. Dance with joy before my Lord like King David (OK, not naked like he did). Not falling on my face before Him crying out Holy, Holy is the Lamb on the throne. Worship with total abandonment, with all that I am, mind, body, and soul, with all my strength.

I’m just saying that is me, where I am in my relationship with God, the level of love I have and level of worship I desire to give God. I do not attack or condemn others who choose to worship like at that church (that is why I did give it’s name), who choose be part of a church like that. And so I desire others to not try to talk me out of not loving God like I do, talk me out of worshiping God with passion like I do. Or to attack and condemn me because I do, or the places I worship at.

And I wish people would stop trying to talk me into going to a church like the ones I’m talking about (photos on Left side), like the ones that kept me from God, that is not a place for me, you go where you want and I will go where I go. And I choose to go where I am free to worship God with total abandonment, passion, love God to my hearts content. Come before the throne of God and gaze upon His beauty and dance with joy before Him, and sing loud from my heart to Him who sets on the throne.

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I am like the guy on the Right when I worship, I am all in, totally abandoned in my love and worship of God, and I will not not give Him anything less.

The words to this song by Misty Edwards says it for me.

For there is love that is as strong as death
Jealousy, demanding as the grave
And many waters cannot quench this love

I don’t want to talk about You
Like You’re not in the room
I want to look right at You
I want to sing right to You

Which group above looks like that is true for? Isn’t obvious it’s the ones on the Right.

I also want to be around with others who are passionate lovers and worshipers of God, around others who are more so than I. I want Paul’s, Peter’s and John’s around me. People who are beyond me spiritually, prayer warriors, more passionate worshipers then I. People who inspire me to go deeper in God, to go wider in God, who pull me up to where they are. Not people who want to pull me down to what I consider a level of mediocrity.

I’ve tasted and seen, of the sweetest of the presence of Jesus, the moving of the Holy Spirit, and I want to stay there. Churches on the Left are why I never wanted to be part of a church, had a distant relationship with God, knew not of His love and was a periodical son tell I was 25. Churches on the Right are why I have a passionate love relationship with God, with His word, and so there I will stay.

If you like, want a church like the one on the Left, then be part of a church like that, just don’t expect me to, because I will not. And I do not care what others think, I worship for an audience of one, He who sits on the throne.

p.s. This is not open for debate or even discussion, I will not love God less or less passionately than I do now. I am unapologetic about this, because I’ll never be sorry or apologetic for loving God and passionately worshiping Him.

 

Also read this post Early For Church, Never Just in Time

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20 Nov 2015 Have Church Without The Holy Spirit? No Thanks

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When people gather together and do not acknowledging the presence of the Holy Spirit, engage with the Holy Spirit, it’s basically a social group, participating in religious rituals, not a church. We desperately need the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that worked through Peter, Paul, Timothy, and Silas. That same Holy Spirit that birthed the church in Jerusalem, Philippi, Ephesus and all the other churches in the NT. The same Holy Spirit that Paul said would equip us with the spiritual gifts to be the church, for us to function as the church. The same Holy Spirit that would give us the power and gifts to serve one another. The same Holy Spirit that Jesus told the disciples to wait for that would fill them with power. That same Holy Spirit we are told not to grieve, and you are going to ignore when you gather, is that not grieving Him? We need the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, we are doing things in the flesh according to our will. Trying to be something we cannot be without the power of the Holy Spirit, the church. If we could be the church without the Holy Spirit, without the power of the Holy Spirit, then Jesus would not have told the disciples to wait for Him.

I praise God that that with the exception of one time, I have always been in a church that does acknowledge and engage the Holy Spirit. Where we begin with the attitude of expectation of the Holy Spirit being there, showing up. Start by paying for the Holy Spirit to come, to show Himself in power, to move among us. To work through us, to speak to us, teach us, equip us. And ultimately lead us, and manifest Himself among us. In fact my current place of worship, we have the attitude we will not move till He comes and move us.

 

We sing:

Holy Spirit sent from heaven
The God of all glory is here
Rise up within me
Living Water, Spirit of God in me

You are welcome in this place
You are welcome in this place
God of power love and grace
Saturate my soul

After all the scriptures make it very clear we cannot follow Jesus, live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit in us, without His power. That we cannot even begin to love on another without the Holy Spirit in us producing the love. And yet so many think they can gather together and function as the church like scripture shows us without the Holy Spirit. How foolish is that!

 

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10 Nov 2015 Church in the Street–The Worship Wagon

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Monday night I went to be part of a ministry my friend Bruce has called Worship Wagon, they hold church services for the homeless under a bridge in the City Market area of the city.

When I arrived, I help set up the sound system, some chairs, then volunteers (that come from different churches every week) lead worship, and give a message, the service lasted about an hour. Then a food truck from a ministry that feeds the homeless showed up and served a meal. During the whole time us who volunteer to go around offering prayer to everyone, and mingle making conversation with them and sharing Jesus with them.

 

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There were about 50 homeless people there, apparently just across the street in the woods there are several homeless camps with about 100 people living there. I left feeling like more need to be done, maybe is just for myself, that I need to do more. But I have nothing to give, no help to offer anyone, at this point in life I cannot even help myself with my own needs, I too am in need of much. I may not be living on the street, but like them I have nothing and am need of everything.

The most interesting, and most heart-wrenching part was the bus ride there and back, it should have been a simple and quick bus ride from the corner from where I live to there, at least it should have been. That story will be another post.

 

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I cannot help but think of Jesus words in Matthew 25:31-46 “35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’”

That means when I look upon those in need I am looking at Jesus, that is where you find Jesus, not in multi-million dollar church buildings, with their cup holder in the seats and a Starbucks in the lobby. You look in his face when you look in the face of the homeless, poor, hungry, the needy.

When I say that I am only quoting Jesus, read His words above, if you have a problem with that take it up with Jesus when you stand before Him. Of course according to Him is this how that will go.

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. “

If those words of Jesus do not make you stop and think about what it really means to be a follower of Jesus, to be in a deep relationship with Him, I don’t think the fear of God is in you. Jesus’ words make me take a good look at my relationship with Him.

The gathering and more so the event that occurred on the bus ride home (more on that later) effected me so much, so deeply that I went to bed thinking I would not go back next week, it’s just to emotionally hard for me, after all what can I do to help anyone, change their situation. I went to bed depressed, full of sadness, and tearful.

Then this morning I remembered what the Lord had taught me just two weeks ago, and I figured out it applies here, He was preparing me for last night. That just like when Jesus told the the disciples to feed 5,000,  they said “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” , “we don’t have enough” in other words. But Jesus took their “not enough” blessed it, and it miraculously became enough.

So I am going to stop telling God and other what I don’t have, take what I do have, my not enough, and give it to God. And if God so chooses to take my few crumbs of bread, and bless it to feed, five thousand, Praise God. And then He and He alone will get all the glory.

I am going to get off my butt and take a place before God that exhibits some measure of faith, and use what I have, even my not enough.

I’m going to stop cursing my not enough and I’m going to begin to bless.

 

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