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.
You 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…
Hebrew: Mizbeach מִזְבֵּ֫חַ
An altar or place of sacrifice
In the Old Testament, agreements were sometimes ratified through the building of altars.
Throughout scripture we find the people of God creating sacred spaces, from piles of rocks to a Tabernacle and a Temple. And they all have one thing in common—they are places where people encounter God. The altars were built to serve as a remembrance of their encounter with God and his faithfulness in their lives. Altars were built by Noah (Gen 8:20); Abraham at Shechem, Hebron, Moriah and Bethel (which means: house of God) (Gen 12:7-8, 13:18, 22:9); Isaac (Gen 26:25); Jacob at Shechem and Bethel (Gen 33:20, 35:7); Moses (Ex 17:15, 24:4); Joshua (Josh 8:30, 24:25-27); Samuel (I Sam 7:12) and many others. As you study these scriptures, note the encounter with God that each person had.
Two noteworthy stories:
1) When the Israelites crossed the River Jordan, each tribe was instructed to take one stone from the river bed and they used those stones to create an altar to the Lord. Joshua also created an altar in the river bed itself:
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” Continue reading
Our last post of 2015!
Let me leave you with this message of courage as you walk the path God has placed before you for the year ahead.
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother marveled at what Simeon said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” ~ Lk 2:29-35
Imagine hearing this blessing over your child and then those very last words. Just as Simeon is pouring out this wonderful worship of the infant Christ, he ends with this warning to Mary. Women of Ancient Israel longed to give birth to the promised Messiah, the One who would bring hope, healing and restoration to their nation. Yet few would understand the cost of this “gift.”
What gift has God entrusted to you? How will you work with God to bring it to fulfillment in your life? Will you press forward even when the road ahead gets tough? Even when your soul is pierced? Will you still say yes? Continue reading
Won’t you join me on the dance floor today? This is going to take some artistic license and creative choreography, but I hope you will join me with open mind, heart and eyes.
When I first watched this dance to Luminus on So You Think You Can Dance (2015), I was immediately taken with what I saw as the image of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Three dancers dancing and creating together in unity and beauty. Let me describe what I see in this dance. You can follow along with the times throughout the video indicated.
To set the stage, Derek Piquette (left) represents God the Father, Gaby Diaz (middle) dances the Holy Spirit, and Moises Parra (floor) represents Christ. From the very beginning of the dance, we see three persons from one God. The smoke creates an ethereal mist and the stars an image of space and time being created. Just as the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the earth so too do they (0:34) as the three work together to create all of earth and mankind. Then God steps forward as the Great I AM (0:35+), Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Next the Holy Spirit steps forward (0:41+) bringing artistry to the Tabernacle through the Spirit-filled artist Bezalel, the gifts of the Israelite people, and the worship of the Levites, revealing the beauty of God (0:51). Then as they dance in unison, we see them working together to demonstrate God’s faithfulness and sovereignty throughout the history of his people. Continue reading
Enjoy this remarkable piece by Keone & Mari Madrid, a husband and wife duo that loves to tell stories through dance and choreography. This piece is called Water.
For National Book Month this month we are exploring books for creatives, artists and worshipers.
Yesterday we explored praying with the body; today let’s explore Praying In Color: Drawing a New Path to God by Sybil MacBeth.
Maybe you love color. Maybe you are a visual or kinesthetic learner, a distractable or impatient soul, or a word-weary pray-er. Perhaps you struggle with a short attention span, a restless body, or a tendency to live in your head.
If that describes you, perhaps this is the book for you! There’s even Praying in Black & White, especially geared towards men! You can explore more at MacBeth’s website Praying in Color.