EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise, Week 2, Palms Down

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Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”

Exploring: Hands Extended, Palms Down – Blessing

Leviticus 9:22-23 – Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down. Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people.

As God gives to us, we give to others—we extend our hands to give to and to bless others. As Moses and Aaron blessed the people, the glory of the Lord appeared—as we bless others, we reveal the glory of God through the generosity of our actions. We are the hands and feet of Christ.

Luke 24: 50-53 – When Jesus had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his Sacred Hearthands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

As the resurrected Jesus ascended to heaven, where he was seated at the right hand of the Father to rule and reign over heaven and earth, he extended hands of blessings to his followers to bless them. This blessing brought them great joy—joy that kept them continually in the presence of God.

Putting It Into Practice

This posture can be done standing or seated. As you experiment with today’s posture, imagine someone you love or someone you have been interceding for in front of you. Extend your hand, as if they are right there with you and you can place your hand on their head. Offer a blessing over their lives. Pray for them. Praise God for them and all they mean to you. Continue reading

EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise, Week 1, Hands Raised

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Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”

Exploring: Hands Raised in Praise, Prayer & Petition

I Kings 8:22-23 – Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said: “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.”

Solomon is 1st giving words of praise to God; 2nd witnessing in front of everyone; and 3rd remembering God’s covenant of love.

I Timothy 2:8 – Therefore I want people everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

Here we find hands raised in prayer, and note that it is to be without anger or dispute in your heart.

Psalm 28:1-2 – I pray to you, O Lord, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die. Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands towards your holy sanctuary.

In this prayer, the writer David is petitioning God to hear his prayer with arms reaching. He cries out to God, lifting his hands towards God in heaven.

Putting It Into Practice

hands upThis posture can be done standing, seated or kneeling. I like to imagine I am a young child, reaching my arms up to my Father God. As you experiment with lifting hands towards God today, start by letting go of any anger you have towards another. Second, remember scripture says your hands are holy. Next, think about literally lifting your praise towards him, and finally, lift your prayer of petition (request) before him. Might I suggest using Chris Tomlin’s song I Lift My Hands as you do: Continue reading

Moving Creatively Through Lent

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Yesterday I posted information on a new series called EMBODIED that starts this Friday, February 16th and goes through Good Friday. Embodied is a 7 week-long exploration of postures of praise & prayer to help us move mindfully through the Lenten season. I will be posting one posture each week (on Friday) to take us through the season of Lent.

In addition, to further help us move through Lent creatively, I will also be posting from the previously featured  “7” Virtual Art-Walk series each week on Wednesdays throughout Lent, as well as reflections from our church’s Lenten sermon series on Monday of each week. The 7 Virtual Art-Walk includes the artwork of Matt Durbin, the poetry of Sarah Wells, and music that all focus on the last 7 words of Christ spoken from the cross. And our church (5 Stones Community Church) will be working with passages throughout Ephesians to help us prayerfully remember and reflect on Jesus during this season.

So…
Sermon reflections on Mondays 
7 Virtual Art-Walk on Wednesdays
EMBODIED exploration of postures of prayer & praise on Fridays
…starting this Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) and working our way through Good Friday, March 30th.

J from tombWhether you grew up in a high church tradition (one that celebrated Lent) or not (like mine), I pray that you will find a way to mindfully, creatively and prayerfully prepare your heart for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior on Resurrection Sunday, April 1st.

You can follow along by visiting http://www.jodythomae.com every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (and searching under the “Creative Spiritual Practices” tab), signing up to receive my emails (<– Look left or for + sign upper left), or following along on Instagram or Facebook. Stay connected by using the #GodsCreativeGift hashtag.

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Yoga as a Creative Christian Practice

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Shoulder to shoulder with my Jesus tribe I know that I am accepted and loved, that I belong and that I have found a group of people who have experienced the great love of Jesus Christ…. on a mat… a yoga mat.

Raise PraiseYou ask me how? How can a Christian practice yoga? I mean, isn’t it Hindu? Aren’t you worshiping the sun or Shiva or a weird looking elephant dude… or something? I could tell you that the movements we call yoga in America are actually more closely derived from the exercise regimens of Indian palaces than from the ashrams who adopted them (Science of Yoga, W.J. Broad), but I’m not sure you’d believe me. So I’ll tell you what God told me.

First, let me clearly state that I recognize that not everyone can or should practice yoga. There are people who have had negative experiences with yoga, and I agree 100% that yoga is not the best creative practice for them to adopt. However, that doesn’t mean that it effects everyone in the same negative way (proceeding with wisdom, discernment and caution). For I have experienced the love of God in such strong, powerful and healing way on the mat, that I cannot go along with the notion that a Christian cannot practice yoga. Let me tell you what Jesus has taught me along my journey into yoga…

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #252 — Visioning the Invisible

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VisionAs we wind down our year of creative posts,  I want to direct you to two blog posts. The first is from my friend Dave Weiss of AMOK Arts entitled “Vision… Can You See it?” This post is a short but powerful word of encouragement to artists and creatives about moving forward in the dreams, callings, visions and destinies to which God is calling you. Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #249 — What is Christmas?

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What is the true meaning of CHRISTmas? I know this can be a difficult season for many. There is only one way to be truly fulfilled in this season:

Clayton Jennings is on a mission to #TellTheWorld about the saving love of Jesus Christ. One way in which he does this is through powerful videos like the one above. Another way is through spoken word:

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #233 — Music & Memories

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Mark SchultzToday I’m sending you over to Dave Weiss’ blog at AMOK Arts to a post he did for CHRISTmas last year called Tell a Better Story: Mark Schultz… Different Kind of Christmas.

May you be blessed by this BEaUtiful song and the story behind it. And may you remember to reach out to those who’ve lost loved ones this past year with love, grace and compassion.

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