a must watch

http://www.lifechurch.tv/message-archive/habakkuk/2

the word ‘dip’ has been on my brain this week. my daughter’s been really into dipping things, odd combinations like grahm crackers in ketchup or pretzels in yogurt. i’m callin’ her my ‘little dipper’.

this 35min. msg speaks of (& illustrates like an upside-down bell-curve) when we find ourselves in a ‘dip’ ~ a struggle, trial or source of pain that just seems unfair. craig groeschel tells us 3 things we need to do @ that low point, in faith. important. pls watch it & share it w/a friend in need

http://www.lifechurch.tv/message-archive/habakkuk/2

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raise ’em high…but why?

a way of expression…to open & raise your hands.

why? well, here’s a few why-nots to get things rollin’- nobody should be doin’ it if they feel pressured to or they’re just mindlessly complying with a worship leader, or if it feels extremely awkward or inappropriate. but it’s sure not a good idea to make a habit of  ‘following your feelings’. sometimes i know that i personally have to go against my feelings & raise my hands in times of worship. worship & praise is often a sacrifice, after all. i was thinking today while driving home from a dentist app’t, why i sometimes raise my hand while worshiping in the car. i figure, well, i do it @ church & @ home; why not the car? so people might think i’m weird. Jesus was weird. what i got ta thinkin’ today was:  why do people do it in the first place?

so i did a short study in the Word for some examples of raised or open hands & here’s what i found!

Aaron dedicated the Levites to the Lord as a “special offering“.  later, he raised them to bless his people. solomon prayed in this way w/dedication & sanctification (setting israel apart from all nations, as God’s special possession). One man raised his hands to heaven as he took a solemn oath,  ezra worshipped the Lord as a huge crowd joined in bowing w/hands raised & faces down. the psalms didn’t let me down w/references as a cry for mercy, an offering of praise, & my favorite passage in this study, ps.145:14-17, refers actually to His open hands (rather than raised); it is a beautiful mentioning of 3 ways He satisfies our needs, only possible w/an open hand (italics added):

14 The LORD upholds all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.

so that’s some of what the Word reads. everyone, if they choose to express themselves this way, may do it for different reasons.  if i do, it’s usually…

  • as a symbol of surrender. in battle, when you give up your rights, when you give up fighting, & surrender to someone’s authority, that is what you do.
  • as a way of saying ‘i give all i have’. everything ~ inside & out. you cannot give w/closed fists.
  • to show outwardly that i want to rec’v (His blessings, forgiveness & mercy). again, you cannot receive gifts tangibly w/closed fists down at your side. i’m realizing again that these are all gifts, unearned, that i need to symbolically grab a hold of & accept as my own.

i guess some more reasons also could be to:

  • physically change posture, helping you to focus & to humble yourself
  • show as a response, “i know the Answer!” or “I agree!”
  • show to God “here i am, i’m Yours! i am set apart & special…use all of me”… & in saying & displaying this, my grudges, my insecurities & my own agenda are pushed aside.

what i like

dove bars…lavender vanilla scented fabric softener…writing songs…bright gerbera daisies…careless worship…originality…ginger peach candles…sugar free white chocolate mochas…simplicity…my child’s laughter…72 degrees with a breeze…talented acoustic guitarists…days at the beach…soft skin…the smell of rain hitting dry ground…the movie, reality bites…walt whitman…american idol…loyalty…love notes written w/a dry erase marker on the stove…the classic, dead poet’s society…waterfall spray…the rosette nebula…pier 1…ancient hymns…feeling free-n-weightless in the south pacific ocean…words of affirmation…scrapbooking…holding my son’s hand…

a strong hold

Lord, this morning, baby girl fell and hit her mouth on the amp, so i gave her a popsicle to help w/the pain. i know that when i get hurt sometimes, i need a little something to distract me from it. something that tastes good, something that numbs, something that makes it feel better, even for a little while. i guess everybody’s popsicle is different. for some it’s alcohol, caffeine, gambling. for me it’s sugary things like chocolate, or it’s coffee, sleep, or spending which can all be helpful…moderately. i trust you to prompt me when it’s ok to have them & when is enough. & when the hurt is bad, help me to recall the healing power of your word…& make the time for it.

the next thing i heard a few minutes later was this scream-cry from the kitchen. i ran in there & saw that angel had a hold on that popsicle so tight but didn’t know how to let go of it. it was freezing her hand. the very thing i gave her as a treat to numb & distract – in just a few minutes made things much worse.

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give me the wisdom to know how to let go of unhealthy habits before they turn into addictions that can put a thick wall between us. i don’t want anything having a strong hold on me

except for you.