BLOGGED: Today is the day!

Today is the day!

Today, the risk to remain a bud is greater than it is to bloom.*

Remaining motionless has become disobedience,
a direction leading to spiritual death,
a path I’m unwilling to follow.

I would rather fear the leap of faith into the Unknown
than fear the Unknown itself.

My heart is set on obedience, with all it’s fearsome loveliness.

And so I walk, determined to be faithful,
in every step and stumble,
in every praise and grumble.

Today, I say, Hineni.

Here I am, LORD.
Send me.

*see Anais Nin

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BLOGGED: “I had begun to skim the surface of a life that I was created to dive into.”

Waves of grief lap endlessly around my ankles, beckoning me to wade into the murky depth of gut-wrenching emotion.

The warmth of the familiar tempts me to step toward the incoming tide.

Yet, I resist.

For the moment, a fear of drowning in the abyss shields my tender heart, protecting me from further pain.

If I close my eyes, will it go away?
No, and I will miss so many good things if I’m not looking for them.

Do I really want Fear to guard the door of my heart?
No, Fear is not my friend.
Fear seeks to kill and destroy.
So much death already…
No more.

As the pool of feelings grows still deeper, I begin to panic…only to find that kicking and fighting against my powerlessness stirs the undertow of despair.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Then, His words speak softly to me in my turmoil,

“Be still.
Cease striving.
Know that I am your God.”

As Peace floods my soul like a river I’ve only sung about, my flailing efforts at self-preservation desist.

A calm washes over me and I remember to breathe again as I adjust to floating gently on the surface of the ongoing emotional tidal waves.

I float lazily for awhile, feeling safe from the deep beneath me.
My floating is comfortable…easy…effortless.

Suddenly, I am awakened from my complacency by the words trailing through my brain…
Since when did “safe”, “comfortable”, “easy”, and “effortless” describe the life of a disciple?
Never.

In my desire to avoid the wounding that the world sometimes brings, I had closed my heart to everything…the bad as well as the good.

No more tears but also no more laughter.
No more loss; no more love.
No more rejection; no more acceptance.
No more hurt; no more healing.
No more pain; no more tenderness.
No more breaking; no more redemption.

Woe is me…I had begun to skim the surface of a life that I was created to dive into.

I finally understand that, in order to delight in the beauty of God, I must embrace the tragedy of His creation.

Now, I’m suited up and prepared to swim to the depths of emotional challenges.

I will drink deeply from the cup that has been passed to me, ever grateful for the opportunity to share in Yeshua’s joy as well as His suffering.

Oh, to waste even one day of this precious gift called Life…May it never be said of me!

BLOGGED: Sitting at the feet of my Rabboni

Of all the words that could be used to describe a disciple, the one that I often find to be the most challenging is “teachable”.

If I’m being really honest, my flesh tries to reject it at every opportunity. Being teachable requires something that does not come naturally to me: humility. It confronts my hard-hearted pride and demands submission, not only to The Lord but also to others. It acknowledges that

I don’t have all the answers,
I can’t do this alone,
I need community.

When I read 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for

teaching,
for rebuking,
for correcting,
for training in righteousness,

so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

I see in myself that I would much rather

teach than be taught,
rebuke than be rebuked,
correct than be corrected,
train than be trained.

But at what cost?

If I believe God’s Word — and I do, this verse and others tell me that the cost is

righteousness,
completion,
being equipped to do good.

None of which are acceptable losses to me.

So, I persevere through the rigorous, daily, flesh-dying discipline of self-control, trying all the while not to grumble.

Now that I’ve recognized this desperate need in my life and prayed these words of surrender:
“LORD, speak for your servant hears.” (1 Samuel 3:10),
I feel like I am beginning to see the precious blooming of fruitful labor.

Every conversation, every interaction I have with someone, is an opportunity to sit at the feet of a rabbi and learn.

“Everyone capable of being a rabbi?”, you may ask.
Yes, everyone.

Though I learn more from those in my own inner circle, everyone is created in the image of the one, true Rabboni: our Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ). And, it is from that image, reflected to varying degrees in each of us, that I learn. It is that reflection of God’s character in others that teaches me, shapes me, disciples me.

Like Mary did in the tenth chapter of Luke, I linger at my Rabboni’s feet, as I see His teachings mirrored in others.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have as many WWJD moments as I have WWJND moments by opening my heart and mind to learning this way. When I see an action modeled by a rabbi, I prayerfully consider What Would Jesus Do/Not Do as I zealously study God’s Word for evidence of an answer.

I think it’s important to note that any one of these learning styles would not be complete without the others:
Prayer – an ongoing conversation with God, our Father.
Bible study – a deeper understanding of God made flesh through Yeshua, His Son and our Messiah.
Discipleship – listening intently and obeying responsively to God’s Spirit leading me, as well as learning from others who do the same.

It is because of those other disciples that I know what grace and mercy look like, up-close and personal. I have seen peace, love, kindness, graciousness, long-suffering, tenderness, gentleness, warmth, joy, goodness, generosity…

And, every Spirit-filled word has a name and face attached to it.

But, I’m learning that we must, first, BE disciples before we can “Go, therefore, and MAKE disciples…teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20), knowing we are never alone in our efforts.

According to these words spoken by Yeshua, perfection isn’t a requirement for discipleship, but being teachable is. So, I linger as He molds me and shapes me into the creation He designed.

Won’t you linger too?

Adonai, my LORD, Master, and Rabboni, thank You that have created me with a heart that longs to be just like Yours.
“Who am I, that You have brought me this far?” With so far still to go…
And yet, I will keep searching to know You more.
Cleanse me from all unrighteousness, Jehovah-Tsidkenu.
Purify every part of me, Jehovah-M’Kaddesh.
Fill me with Your peace, Jehovah-Shalom.
Hem me in, behind and before, Jehovah-Nissi. May Your glory be my banner.
And, be with me always, El-Olam Immanuel.
In Yeshua’s precious name I come,
Amen.

BLOGGED: I am a disciple

Jesus said, “Follow me.”
I dropped my [own agenda for my] life and followed Him.
I am a disciple.

Like Peter, I am impetuous and bold. I have found redemption from my unfaithfulness and I have a strength that can only be found in Christ.

Like James, son of Zebedee, I foolishly fought to control my place in God’s kingdom and then chose to surrender my will in order to receive my true inheritance.

Like John, I have come to know how much I am loved because of my friendship with Jesus.

Like Phillip and Andrew, I believe wholeheartedly in the Messiah and seize opportunities to share Him with others.

Like Bartholomew, I practice the discipline of my faith so I will recognize the work of God when I see it.

Like Matthew, I have abandoned my old master for a new One. I no longer serve the kingdom of this world but, instead, serve the kingdom of Heaven.

Like Thomas, I have occasionally doubted God’s goodness but I would also die with Him at a moment’s notice.

Like James, son of Alphaeus, though clearly significant in God’s eyes, I know how it feels to seem insignificant to others, as if just one name on a list of twelve.

Like Simon, I am passionate about bringing the kingdom of Heaven to earth and I zealously pursue the kind of Spirit-filled living that carries the aroma of Christ.

Like Thaddaeus/Lebbaeus/Judas/Jude, sometimes I get lost in all my names: Mom, friend, daughter, sister, writer, minister, counselor…I need God’s gentle reminders of who He says I am.

Like Judas Iscariot, discontentment has enabled me to justify betrayal. Judas reminds me that I can have the best teachers and still stray from my faith. And that, sometimes, my testimony will be what NOT to do.

Like Mary, my teacheable heart sits at the feet of wise rabbi-friends and one all-knowing Rabboni.

Like Paul, I have come to understand that knowing the Scriptures isn’t enough. I need the ongoing confrontation of Christ in my life so He can address the appalling disconnect between what I know in my head and what I believe with my heart — a disconnect on display in the disparity between what I say and what I do. The very real difference between knowing about God and knowing God.

I am a disciple.

I stand on the shoulders of disciples who have gone before me and offer a helping hand to those who come after me.
I am a disciple.

What kinds of things have you learned about Jesus from the disciples that have gone before you?

In what ways do you imitate the life of Christ to the disciples following behind you?

I invite you to leave your own thoughts below.

BLOGGED: Re-orientation

Did you know that, until about 500 years ago, scientists used to think that Earth was the center of the universe? So, why did this theory, known as Geocentrism, fall out of favor with scientists? Because their solar system measurements were not lining up with reality. It wasn’t until Copernicus, later supported by Galileo and Kepler, postulated that the sun was the center of the universe that calculations began to make sense. That Heliocentric theory (believing that all the other planets rotate around the sun) is considered the most accurate way to view our solar system today.

 

These scientific theories, and our ever-changing capacity to understand the things we can see, are perfect examples of how re-orienting our thinking affects our ability to grow in the knowledge of God:

 

I am not the center of the universe. God is. 


If I find that my life is not measuring up to God’s standard – standards He established in His Word – it may be that I need to re-orient my thinking so that it is centered around God and not my self. If I am struggling with spiritual disappointment (the feeling that God has somehow let me down), perhaps I need to remember that I am not created to invite God into my life but, rather, God has created me as an invitation to join Him in the things He has purposed for this world.

 

Let me be transformed by the renewing of my mind and aim for Deo-centric thinking instead of my usual Egocentric way of life. 

 

Changing my thinking from “Who is God to me?” to “Who is God?” can have a dramatic affect on my ability to believe. Once I go from seeking His hand to seeking His face, I’ve traveled only a couple of feet with my eyes but I’ve covered miles within my heart. What’s the difference? The intimacy with which I walk with Him.

 

I’m no longer standing next to my Father; I’m nestled into the soft spot of His neck.

 

Knowing who He is and that His nature is not dependent on who I am, I am free to live my life as an offering…for His glory, not my own.

 

 

Praise the Lord!


Praise the Lord from the heavens;

praise him in the heights!

Praise him, all his angels;

praise him, all his hosts!

Praise him, sun and moon,

praise him, all you shining stars!

Praise him, you highest heavens,

and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord!

For he commanded and they were created.

And he established them forever and ever;

he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,

you great sea creatures and all deeps,

fire and hail, snow and mist,

stormy wind fulfilling his word!

Mountains and all hills,

fruit trees and all cedars!

Beasts and all livestock,

creeping things and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples,

princes and all rulers of the earth!

Young men and maidens together,

old men and children!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,

for his name alone is exalted;

his majesty is above earth and heaven.

He has raised up a horn for his people,

praise for all his saints,

for the people of Israel who are near to him.

Praise the Lord!

—Psalms 148:1-14, ESV

BLOGGED: “Faith is my active attitude of total reliance on God’s absolute trustworthiness.” Including thoughts by @SkipMoen –

I could never claim to be a Bible scholar. But I DO love to study God’s Word in its original languages, aided by some handy-dandy Bible apps like Blue Letter Bible & PocketSword. Currently, three of my favorite words are the Greek “histemi” (pronounced “his-stay-me”), “pistos”, and the Hebrew “‘aman”, all of which resound heavily regarding where I am right now in my journey of faith – and I mean “journey” because, God knows, it’s taken me 41 years to get here. As a matter of fact, I’ve actually considered getting “histemi” tattooed on my hand (Deut. 6:8…I think the forehead is a little too much, don’t you agree? Ha!)

There have been so many moments recently when I’ve felt the pressure of life begin to weigh heavy on my shoulders, when I’ve wanted to say, “Okay, enough! I give up!” And, just then, the word “histemi” will come flooding into my mind, with all of its depth of meaning:

Outline of Biblical Usage (from Blue Letter Bible Lexicon):
1) to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set
a) to bid to stand by, [set up]
1) in the presence of others, in the midst, before judges, before members of the Sanhedrin;
2) to place
b) to make firm, fix establish
1) to cause a person or a thing to keep his or its place
2) to stand, be kept intact (of family, a kingdom), to escape in safety
3) to establish a thing, cause it to stand
a) to uphold or sustain the authority or force of anything
c) to set or place in a balance
1) to weigh: money to one (because in very early times before the introduction of coinage, the metals used to be weighed)
2) to stand
a) to stand by or near
1) to stop, stand still, to stand immovable, stand firm
a) of the foundation of a building
b) to stand
1) continue safe and sound, stand unharmed, to stand ready or prepared
2) to be of a steadfast mind
3) of quality, one who does not hesitate, does not waiver

“His-stay-me”…I think of that and, by His grace, peace floods my soul and I, having stood, stay standing.

-M.

The following, by Skip Moen, is so beautifully written, I wanted to quote it here (I hope he doesn’t mind). If you enjoy reading about in-depth, original language, Bible study, I highly recommend Skip’s website: http://www.skipmoen.com/

SOLID AS A ROCK

“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)

FAITHFUL – What does it mean to be faithful? What do you think of when you hear these words? Do you think about a marriage vow or a promise or someone? Do you think about unwavering commitment or loyalty? If we look at the way John uses this word, we find some other imagery that helps us understand what faithfulness really is. Then we will know why Jesus can say, “Be faithful unto death.”

John uses this word only one time in his gospel. When Jesus confronts Thomas’ disbelief, Jesus invites Thomas to examine the nail prints and the scar from the spear. Jesus says, “Come and look, and as a result, be believing.” That is the Greek word pistos. It is an adjective, not a verb, so our English translation sounds funny. We would like to say, “Come and believe,” but that would make pistos a verb, and John doesn’t use “believe” that way. When John talks about believe, he always uses the verb pisteuo (92 times). For John, belief is an action, not a set of statements. To be faithful is to act in a certain way.

How do I act when I am faithful? For that answer, we need to look at the Hebrew thought behind this Greek word. We arrive at Numbers 12:7, for example, where the Greek word pistos translates the Hebrew word ‘aman. This Hebrew word paints a very tangible picture. Its primary meaning is to provide stability and confidence. It is used to describe the foundation of a house, the support of pillars, a nurse holding a baby in her arms, a nail driven into a post. It is about things that can be relied upon; things that are solid as a rock. Suddenly faithfulness is no longer simply mental affirmation. It is no longer just about what I think. It is about the concrete actions of unshakeable trust. It is building on granite instead of sand. It is trusting that nurse not to drop the baby. It is knowing that the pillars will hold up the roof. To be faithful unto death is to be steady as a rock no matter what the storm may bring.

Faithfulness is not found in my signature at the bottom of a list of beliefs. Faithfulness is found in the behaviors that reflect those beliefs. Yes, I must know what I believe, but until my head knowledge is converted into real, tangible actions, it is not faithfulness.

The Old Testament uses pistos for another Hebrew word, ne’um, a word that means “an oracle or prophetic saying from God.” You can find this in 2 Samuel 23:1. Why is this also pistos? Because it comes from God’s mouth and it is totally and undeniably trustworthy. You can act on it. It is rock-solid truth. Accepting the oracle of God means more than simply acknowledging that God spoke it. It means hearing and acting on it. I cannot be faithful until I put it in practice.

“Faith” is not like medicine. In fact, it’s not a substance at all. It is a code word for a relationship, and just like any other relationship, you can’t bottle it or store it or acquire it except in interactive exchange. The relationship exists only in the exchange. You don’t have a “relationship” with someone you never speak to. The idea that “faith” is something that I acquire is as misguided as the idea that children are something I own. In fact, the Hebrew word, ’emunah, is typically a word about character, the utter reliability and fidelity of someone, particularly God.

Faith is my active attitude of total reliance on God’s absolute trustworthiness.

That means that my “faith” is demonstrated in the action of putting myself in His care, no matter what the circumstances! Until and unless I act on His reliability, I just don’t have faith. I might have a set of written beliefs that I can recite, but I won’t have any active relationship. Faith is only found in the action, not the declaration. Israel claimed to have “faith” in God, but their actions revealed denial of His claim on them. The truth is that they were faithless.

How much faith does it take to please God? The question itself is wrong-headed. If faith is the action of trusting Him, then I either act or I don’t act. I either trust Him, or I try my own way. There is no half-full measure here. So, how do I get this faith? God grants it, freely, abundantly, continuously. From God’s side to the relationship, nothing impedes your trust in Him.

All you have to do is act accordingly.

God is a Rock. Imitating that rock-like quality is being faithful. So, polish the granite in your life. Sculpt the marble. Shine like a diamond. You were called to be a geological marvel.

– Skip Moen, D. Phil.
http://www.skipmoen.com/hebrew

BLOGGED: Waiting and Praying…

God’s Word encourages us to put action to our faith. Unfortunately, there are many times I can do nothing physically to help a friend…it is action that must happen between him/her and the Lord. And, though the enemy tries to convince me that I am helpless to assist my friends in these situations, the Truth tells me otherwise:

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16)

One thing I’m currently learning: I have prayer-muscles that I never knew existed before!

Thank you, Lord, that I CAN’T do everything on my own…that I MUST trust in You to not only meet my needs, but to meet the needs of others too.

I’ll just wait here, with a heart that is willing to surrender, and maybe help YOU, if and when You ask…

BLOGGED: I seem to relate the most to Peter…all wet and out of steam!

-I am unworthy to serve Him, yet feel called…and will follow Him anywhere.

“On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:1-11 ESV)

-I jump out of the boat as quickly as possible, often without thinking, to get to Jesus and do the things He calls me to do.

?”After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.” (John 21:1-8 ESV)

Through the wisdom of others and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I’m learning patience and to be more intentional about my actions. If you think about it, the other disciples all ended up in the same place that Peter did, by the side of the Sea. The only difference is, they were dry and probably had more energy!

BLOGGED: Tweet the Punny!

It seems that @DCPastorman, aka Pastor Michael Craft, was reprimanded for one of his punnier tweets yesterday. I was going to reply by Tweet, but as a collector of quotes, many similar to those he favors, I thought I’d respond with some of my favorite quips and quotations instead, which I hope will inspire him to continue his quest for Punny!

  

  • “We do not so much need the help of our friends as the confidence of their help when in need.” — Epicurus

 

Why should he NOT care about the criticism?

 

  • How far would Moses have gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?
  • The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.
  • Everybody is somebody else’s weirdo.

 

Possible responses to consider for the future:

 

  • The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard. 
  • A great many people mistake opinions for thoughts.
  • If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague. 
  • I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day and tomorrow isn’t looking good either.
  • Support your local Search and Rescue team – get lost.
  • Always love your enemies – nothing annoys them so much. 
  • When someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles to frown, but it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and whack them in the head. 
  • There are very few personal problems that cannot be solved with a suitable application of explosives. 
  • Reply to everything someone says with ‘That’s what YOU think’.
  • People will accept your ideas much more readily if you first tell them that Benjamin Franklin said it. 

 

Don’t want to respond directly? No problem! Just blast ‘em with new material: 

 

  • A good pun is it’s own reword.  
  • I don’t get even, I get odder.   
  • This statement is false.  
  • Dijon vu, the same mustard as before. 
  • Boycott shampoo, demand the REAL poo. 
  • For Sale: Parachute. Only used once, never opened, small stain.
  • I tried sniffing Coke once, but the ice cubes got stuck in my nose. 
  • If Superman is so smart why does he wear his underpants over his trousers?  
  • How much deeper would oceans be if sponges didn’t live there? 
  • Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said. 
  • The Law of E-Mail: The best way to inspire fresh thoughts is to hit Send. 
  • I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder. 
  • Corduroy pillows – they’re making headlines.
  • All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.
  • I used to be schizophrenic, but we’re okay now. 
  • I told you I was sick — Grave stone of B.H. Roberts. 
  • Man who falls in vat of molten optical glass makes spectacle of self.  
  • Time is a great healer, unless you have a rash, in which case you’re better off with ointment. 
  • Last week a cop stopped me in my car. He asked me if I had a police record. I said, no but I have the new Beatles album. Cops have no sense of humor. 
  • Good thing my house is on the way home. 
  • Save trees. Eat more woodpeckers. 
  • If you see an onion ring, answer it.  

 

Why should he keep tweeting the punny?

 

  • Laughing helps. It’s like jogging on the inside. 
  • “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” — Sir James M. Barrie 
  • “Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.” — Jack Handey 
  • Someday we’ll look back on all this and plow into a parked car. 
  • When I die, I want to go like my grandfather did, peacefully in his sleep, not yelling and screaming, like all the passengers in his car.  
  • Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.   

   

Why haven’t I tweeted this stuff? 

 

  • My inferiority complex is not as good as yours.  
  • As I said before, I never repeat myself.

  

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” — Cyril Connolly  

+                          

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” — Albert Schweitzer 

“If what you write makes YOU laugh, you’re successful.” — Michelle Baldi …Yeah, I totally just made that up.

 

I hope something here at least made you chuckle! (If not, you might try improving your sense-of-humor here: ehow.com or buying a sense-of-humor here: ebay.com.) Either way, I hope it inspires @DCPastorman to keep tweeting the punny!

Thanks, PMC, for always bringing so many light-hearted moments to the Baldi home! You ROCK – as our pastor, as our mentor, & as our friend!!

BLOGGED: God is Nigh

When I used to hear the word “Worship”, I would immediately think of the times at church when we’d sing songs to & about God. Granted, that’s probably not a bad place to START, but it wasn’t until I met Bil Brown (@bbaltimorebrown), our official Worship Leader & un-official “Pastor of Artistic Expression” at Desperation Church, that I began to grasp the idea of Worship as a lifestyle – a continual heart-song to the Lord who deserves all the honor & glory I have to offer, regardless of how humble and meager I think my gifts are compared to some. It’s knowing that God isn’t sitting in Heaven critiquing my offer of praise like a judge on American Idol. Rather, He’s forever “behind and before me”, eagerly awaiting my awareness of His divine Presence. Worship is what naturally occurs when the eyes of my heart are opened to the bounty of blessings His Presence bestows – so undeserved and yet so freely given – and, as a result, I am unable to contain my joy, my adoration, my over-whelming appreciation for the Savior who gave His life in exchange for mine! It’s also a tremendously humbling experience, catching a tiny glimpse of our GREAT BIG GOD, in the tedious ritual of everyday moments.

So, it was with this relatively new and constantly-unfolding understanding of Worship, that I was driving home a couple of weeks ago from a full day of constant motion. That day, which had begun at sunrise, was finally ending at sunset…this sunset:

Media_httpmediatumblr_emcbh

It was while driving into that setting sun, exhausted both mentally and physically, that I was suddenly and profoundly aware of God’s presence. And, in that same moment, the melody of “Taps” came to mind unbidden and quite unexpectedly. Not knowing many of the words, I sang the ones I did and hummed the rest, trusting the Holy Spirit to fill in the gaps. And while I sang, I sat on the side of the road and watched the sun float slowly below the horizon, reminded by the beauty before me of God’s continued, ever-present faithfulness.

It wasn’t until I got home and looked up the lyrics to the song that I realized I had worshiped my Lord with these words, sung and unsung:   

Day is done, gone the sun,

From the hills, from the lake,

From the skies.

All is well, safely rest,

God is nigh.

Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,

May the soldier or sailor, God keep.

On the land or the deep,

Safe in sleep.

Love, good night, Must thou go,

When the day, And the night Need thee so?

All is well. Speedeth all

To their rest.

Fades the light;

And afar Goeth day,

And the stars Shineth bright,

Fare thee well; Day has gone,

Night is on.  

Thanks and praise, For our days,

‘Neath the sun, Neath the stars,

‘Neath the sky,

As we go, This we know,

God is nigh.

If the rainbow is a reminder to God’s people of His promise not to destroy the world again, then the sunset is now a reminder for me to take a quick Spirit-check of my nearness to the Lord, knowing all it takes – all God desires – is for me to invite Him to draw close…and that, whether I have all the words or not, I won’t be able to contain my Worship when GOD IS NIGH!