EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise, Day 7, Hands Clapping

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

Exploring: Hands Clapping – Restoration & Victory

Psalm 47:1-3 – Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet.

Christ the King is our victory. As we shout praises and clap our hands, he stands up against injustice and rights the wrongs in our lives. Let us use a voice of triumph — one that speaks truth, victory, restoration and freedom — even in places of our lives that do not appear victorious. God is in control. Christ is on His throne.

Jeremiah 31 –  4 I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. … 12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD… 13 Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

As God redeems, rebuilds, and restores all the broken and wounded places in our lives, we will take up our tambourines, our instruments of praise, in order to dance with joyful celebration. He promises joy for our sorrow.

Putting It Into Practice

Praise.png

Jesus came as our Restorer and Redeemer. Take some time remembering all he has done for you. Also think about the answers to prayer you are still in need of. Sometimes clapping in victory before we are actually victorious can bring about the change in the spiritual climate we need to have our prayers answered. In every situation, we clap and celebrate his goodness!!

You can clap your hands anytime, anywhere and any way you’d like (well, except maybe in a library, but you get my point). If you’d like you can clap along with today’s worship song and clap your hands, all ye people, as we celebrate his resurrection power! Continue reading

7 :: “Into your hands…”

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“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Week 7

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46

 

M Durbin 2010 Into Your Hands

Matt Durbin (c) 2010

Enough

Here I am, my son.

Your struggle is over.

It was near impossible

to keep from turning

toward your cries.

I felt each lash,

wailed as they

drove the nails.

I blacked out the sun

so as not to see

your suffering.

Come to me now,

let me bandage

your wounds. Drink

from the spring

and rinse clean, rinse

until the water

runs clear. This part

of the journey

is finished. Continue reading

Lenten Reflection: On a Mission

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Scripture Reading: 

…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

…For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light…Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 4:30–5:2, 5:8-13, 5:15-20

Reflections:

Yesterday was our final message in our Lenten series through Ephesians. While I didn’t post the entire scripture passage above (due to space), feel free to read Ephesians 4:25–6:9. A large passage indeed, but we took a look from a distance and found three main ideas that pertain to a life of personal mission:

  1. Imitate Christ
  2. Live a life of character and integrity
  3. Make the most of your time

Continue reading

EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise, Day 6, Hands Flat

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

Exploring: Bowing Low, Prostrate with Hands Flat – Submitting

I Chronicles 29:20 – Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the LORD your God.” So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king.

I Kings 18:38-39 – (Elijah) Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD – he is God! The LORD – he is God!”

As we worship, we recognize His holiness (and our unworthiness) and we bow low before a God who is worthy to be honored. In the Ancient Near East, a  vassal treaty was a treaty between two kings – one more powerful than the other. The lesser king presented himself as a vassal by bowing low before the more powerful king.  To prostrate oneself before another is an act of worship, and the vassal treaty is the picture of worship the Israelites would picture in their minds when they worshiped Yahweh. The Hebrew word is hishtacheveh, which relates to Greek word (proskuneo) that means kissing toward. But it is not an upward intimate kiss toward God, but a kissing the dirt or feet of God. The theological meaning is that God is the more powerful king and we are the less powerful king.

Psalm 95:6-7 – Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

As we bow down in worship before God, we come under his care. We are his people. He watches over us as a shepherd watches over his sheep, not letting a single one fall away. Continue reading

7 :: “It is finished!”

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“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Day 6

“It is finished!”  John 19:30

M Durbin 2010 Jesus

Matt Durbin (c) 2010

The Antique Rocking Chair

The carpenter is not disappointed

by the ruined finish or the broken arm,

loose spindles, failed glue joints.

He checks the chair for its rhythm,

rests carefully in its solid seat and tests

the sway, hums an ancient hymn,

feels the wind that wore away the finish,

drove the rain between the grains

and diminished the lacquered polish. Continue reading

Lenten Reflection: Unique yet Unified

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Scripture Reading:

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.  Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.  For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God and Father of all,
who is over all, in all, and living through all.

He has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. Eph 4:1-7


Reflections:

Right off the bat, here’s my confession… I wasn’t in church yesterday so this is not a reflection on our church’s sermon series in Ephesians… these are simply my own thoughts, musings and reflections… Continue reading

EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise, Day 5, Hands to Heart

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

Exploring: Hands to Heart – Pondering/Treasuring

Job 23:12b – I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.

Luke 2:16-20 – Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Treasuring and pondering means taking time to remember all God has done in your life, to consider what He has planned for your life, to look at those gifts/talents that are uniquely yours to do that which God has uniquely designed you for. It is being still and quiet before the Lord. 

Putting It Into Practice

This posture can be done standing, seated or kneeling. Psalm 46:10 says: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” As you bring bring your hands to your heart in a posture of stillness and prayer, take a moment to ask, “How is God exalted in my life?” As you explore this beautiful posture of prayer, ask God to make your heart His home. Take time to ponder and treasure all that he has done in your life. Continue reading