14!

“For worship to be worship, it must contain something of the otherness of God…A sense that God is so pure, matchless and unique that no one else and nothing else even comes close.
“Sometimes in the Church we find ourselves doing the total opposite – we take the extraordinary revelation of God and somehow manage to make Him sound completely ordinary!
“…there is a higher value in worship than cultural relevance. It is the glory of God.
“Sometimes in the Church, I worry that we’ve settled for “goldfish bowl” worship. We convey a tame and domesticated God, and then find ourselves stuck in the endless pursuit of the ordinary. But the call is to venture out into the ocean, to encounter the extraordinary and to explore the mighty depths of God. And though our earthly gathered worship times may never fully sound the depths of His glory, beware of those that don’t even attempt to do so.
“…find ways of responding to God, which we’ve reserved for Him only.
“Reverence for God must find its way into even the smallest details of our lives.”
-Matt Redman in Facedown (chapter 2)

Well Friends, I am officially 14! Gasp! Before some of you get seriously concerned about that number, let me finish. 14 years ago on June 11 I surrendered my life over to God! I remember thinking then that my whole life was His. Ahh, I love our God Who knows our frames and remains so loving and patient with us! I knew nothing of what giving Him my whole life was, and in many ways still don’t! Nevertheless, that is the Goal of all goals for this life and into the next; so, I press on.
A lot has been learned, only to reveal so much more that I have to learn. A lot has been wrestled with; some losses, some victories. Some people in my life then are no longer in my life now. I do not live near family, but God has been faithful and given me The Church – my forever family. I still do not have all the answers, but His Word is still here – living and active and relevant when everything else gets outdated. I still struggle and deal with temptation, but nothing that is uncommon or surprising or too hard for my Savior. I still have doors in my life that God wants me to walk thru that I just tarry near, but I believe that He is able to get me there. I still have so much to lay at the cross and surrender into His hands; good thing – He’s not going anywhere! I have 14 years behind me on this earth and in the context of eternity have just a “vapor” left here, but I pray the inhale will be worthwhile so that the exhale will be beautiful!
One area that God has given me great passion in is with The Church. So much damage has been done since the Fall of man to the relationship of God and His Bride. But, Jesus did not leave His Love in her “damaged” state. He came ready not just to “marry” her but to take over all the preparations for the marriage feast! He came dressed in His best and provided the pure, white “dress” for His bride. He came singing over His beloved and provided a new song for her lips. He came, ushered in by angels, and gave us an “usher” of our own – His blood. He wrote His own vows, and our lives are ours. He brought in the unity candle, and invited us to be One with Him as He is One with His father (John 17). Every promise in Him is Yes (I do)! Now, as we begin to walk down the aisle with Him, He remains with us on this earth by His Holy Spirit and He has ascended into heaven so that He can prepare our Home where we will be carried over the threshold by our Prince. It will be then that nothing and no one will take away our joy, our happiness, our health, our laughter, or our audience with God; we will forever be in His presence!
In the mean time, one of my great desires is to be passionate about The Church and for The Church! I don’t want to water-down the extraordinary into the ordinary! On the contrary, I want to take the seemingly ordinary and surrender it to the One Who makes all things new! I pray I will be an instrument in my time here on this earth to help turn ashes into beauty in my family, in my other relationships, and foremost, in The Church!
So, here’s to the next 14…may The Bride of Christ and myself not be found in the same place then as we are now.
Praise be to the One Who is above all others! I love you Jesus, my King, my Savior!