Friday, June 04, 2010

I will serve the King

This past week, our opening prayer has been taken from the hymn, "Who is on the Lord's side?" In response...

I am on the Lord's side. I will serve the King. I will be His helper, other lives to bring. I will leave the world's side. I will face the foe. I am on the Lord's side. I for Him will go. Fierce may be the conflict, strong may be the foe, But the King's own army none can overthrow. Round His standard ranging, victory is secure. For His truth unchanging makes the triumph sure. Joyfully enlisting by Thy grace divine, I am on the Lord's side, Saviour, I am Thine.

"Life doesn't always deliver what we expect and that sometimes events may not seem just or right, but we still have to live in those circumstances. We might feel let down when life doesn't seem fair, but that's precisely when we can find grace and strength if we turn to the Lord. "Life isn't fair" eventually became another way to say, "We may not understand, but God does.""
--Carol Vandesteeg

I've thought about both of these things quite a bit this week--I will serve the King, yet living in those circumstances can be quite difficult. I make conscience choices, to be God's helper, to bring others to Him, yet recently, I'm feeling let down--life is not fair. I love the part where it says, "Joyfully enlisting by Thy grace divine" as that is where I am at right now...I will find grace and strength when I turn to the Lord.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Good times!

I thought you might like to see some of the kids I hang out with during the week! Enjoy these pictures!

Just me hanging out. :)

Carrie playing with the girls

All smiles!

Sweet child



She loves to colour! :)

I love this dude! Intelligent, funny, and a handful!

I am the man!

Do you see the brotherly and sisterly love here?

Picture with the boys!

Myself with one cool dude!

Love this girl!

Myself and my little friend!

Just love this guy! He's so silly!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Take Time to be Holy

One thing I love about First Presbyterian Church, here in San Antonio, is how intentional the order of worship is, beginning with adoration of Christ the King. I love traditional service, as the theology in the hymns is rock solid.

Ev'ry day will I extol Thee and will bless Thy Holy Name
My song shall be of praise and honor, and of Thy glorious acts.
Thy works are wonderful, past our knowing.

Right before the call to confession, George Sturch, read the following scripture.

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord";
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Psalm 32:3-5

I run a lot in the lovely Texas heat. As the scripture was being read, I was thinking about how draining my runs are in the hot and humid weather we have had here recently. I thought about the race the other day, where I felt tired and lifeless, before the race had begun, due to the weather!

As George continued to read though, I became encouraged! I love that when we go to God, confessing our sins, He forgives us, and gives us that life again. He literally gives me water, to bring the tired and lifeless, drained out body of mine, into His glory. The story does not stop with I went to run the race, and I could not finish. No, communion with our Saviour is so sweet, and because of His forgiveness, grace, and mercy, I am in relationship with Him. I love all the things God does for us, He is faithful, He tells us I will do this or I will do that...and in this case, I forgave. I have replenished your body with the water you need. No need to be drained and lifeless with Me.

During the prayer of confession we are given time to pray personal prayers, and confess individually, and as a congregation. I personally find this time very powerful. As a group we ask for forgiveness, but as an individual, I have the opportunity every week to say, "God I'm sorry. I failed to be an obedient servant. I did _____ wrong or I treated _____ wrong or I messed up here, or whatever the case may be." I am not sinless, but I am forgiven. Thank you, God for life and vitality!

We move from the time of confession to the Gloria Patri--this is where we sing, "Glory be to the Father..." At this time in the service, the mood/attitude shifts to affirmation and dedication. This is where we state "The Apostles Creed," say the "Lord's Prayer," and sing the Doxology ("Old Hundredth"--Praise God from whom all blessings flow...) This is one of the happiest parts of worship for me, as it is fun to tell God how great and wondrous He is.

Abide in Him always, and feed on His word.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide,
In joy or in sorrow, still follow thy Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
--Take Time to be Holy

I love these words! We enter into the time of proclamation, where God's character is declared. I am challenged by these words--abide in Him always, and feed on His word. It's one thing to read your bible, and to study it, but it's another to feed on His word. "Let Him be thy Guide, in joy or in sorrow, still follow thy Lord." These words not only convict me, but challenge me to be a better Christian. I want to feed on His word; I want to trust in His word; I want to be holy.

This is also where we learn more about God through the sermon. Sermons are one of my favourite parts of church! I love to learn what God has taught the pastor, and what He shares with us. This past Sundays sermon was on Acts 16:25-34, the theme was Counter Intuitive. I loved one of the points that John made, "When you're in prison, do you counter intuitively sing praises to God?" This challenges me. We see that Paul and Silas were in the midst of suffering, and it is here that the power of God, in Jesus Christ, was at work through the Holy Spirit. Glorying God in joy and suffering is counter intuitive, it is also holy. My challenge to you is to take time to be holy each and everyday! Worship well, my friends!