Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Get Your Elbows Off The Table!

Posted: January 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
      How does art influence real life? Here is a great example:

      Has your mother ever told you to “Get your elbows off the table!”
If you’re like me, you probably learned to obey quickly or suffer the consequences!… but I always wondered, what is the big deal about elbows on the table? Who said that it was ill-mannered in the first place?
      Would you like to know who started it?
     … Leonardo Da Vinci.
      That’s right… the Mona Lisa dude started it. He didn’t mean to… but it is still his fault. Yes, he painted the Mona Lisa, sculpted David and envisioned things that were hundreds of years ahead of their time.
      He also painted among his many masterpieces a painting called The Last Supper which depicted Jesus and his disciples having one last meal together before Jesus faced his arrest and crucifixion. Well, in this painting, there is one disciple that has his elbow on the table. Can you guess which one? That’s right. Judas.
      So… based only on the artwork of Leonardo Da Vinci, a tradition was formed that has been passed down through the generations that if you have your elbow on the table, you are identifying with Judas. So, we get to hear things like, “Get your elbows off that table before I knock you into next week!”
      We know we are not supposed to do it, but many of us have had no idea why or where it came from. Well… now you know, but you may be asking, “What does this have to do with me or the price of tea in china?” Glad you asked:
      The things that we do in life… our work ethic, the words we say to our children, etc… I think we can all agree that it affects our family for generations. If we are a churched family verses an un-churched family, we will see different attitudes and behaviors because of the way we were brought up. The atmosphere of our development, good or bad, affects us. Subsequently, the atmosphere that we embrace or reflect will affect all around us.
      What about the art you enjoy? How are you affected by that? Maybe you think it doesn’t affect you at all, but I know that the popular music of every generation begins to shift and alter that generation’s thoughts and beliefs. Look at the music of the late sixties, The Beatles, Elvis… their songs shifted their generation. There is power in music.
      So how about music that praises God? It shifts the atmosphere to one that God can inhabit… and that His enemies must flee! It gives you the right mindset for worship and puts you in a great place to hear from God.
      Does art influence reality? Without question! So allow yourself to be influenced by art that God can inhabit!
      And while you’re at it… get your elbows off that table!… and lift your hands in worship to our God!


Acorn Hoard

Posted: April 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

Consider an acorn.

An acorn is very small. It falls from a high limb and tumbles where it may. It can do nothing in and of itself. It lies helpless sometimes. It gets rained on. It can be carried away on a whim by a bird or a squirrel. It may fall in a stream and be swept away. It may roll down a hill into a barren spot where it bakes in the sun… but each one is full of potential.

An acorn, when planted, takes anywhere from 6 to 24 months to begin growing… and the growth is slow, taking years to mature into a beautiful oak tree. After even more long years, the oak tree will have acorns of it’s own. In time, they will fall to the ground and the process begins again.

Big deal, right! It is if you’re an acorn. All acorns want to be a mighty oak.

It seems to me that a dream is like an acorn. Do you have a dream? Does it stand tall like a mighty oak in your mind? Do you feel that somehow, even though you know you are an acorn, that you are not really capable of becoming a mighty oak? Do you hoard all of your acorns, keeping them locked away and “protected” from the sun and rain… and squirrels?

Yep, it’s true… not all acorns will become mighty oaks. There are a large number of them that will never even have a chance because they are hoarded away in a pile of other acorns, each of them wishing and longing for the chance to find their way to some good soil where they can mature, stretch out their roots and reach their destiny.

Do you hoard your dreams away? Do you stunt your own growth and minimize your potential by hoarding your dream, by covering it in a dark corner where it can never bloom in the light of day? Bring it out into the sunshine to be planted and watered. Let’s see what kind of tree it will be…

… or, just be dinner for a squirrel. It’s your choice.


Posted: April 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

Taxes should be a four letter word.

It’s that time of year again and I cringe at the amount of dollars that go to the government and are used for who knows what. I know, I know… there are many things that my tax dollars go to that are noble causes… some of them that halp me and my fellow countrymen; Teachers salaries, kids education, roads and bridges… plus, I am glad to be employed and able bodied and able to pay taxes… but…

I can see this is a vicious cycle! It is better to just accept the facts and move on.

Did you know that Jesus spoke about taxes? It is found in Matthew 22: 

15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. 16 And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. 17 Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show Me the tax money.”
So they brought Him a denarius.
20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”
21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”
And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.(NKJV)

So, Every year in April, we render to the U.S government what is the U.S. government’s, whether we like it or not. After all, the images of our country are on the dollars and cents that we carry. So, thats that.

But what about rendering to God what is God’s? Let’s look at verse 20 again:

Matthew 22:20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”

If we apply this to ourselves, what do we get?

Genesis 1:27   So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (NKJV)

We render to Caesar what is Caesar’s because we are forced to. We have to pay up or the IRS will come knocking! Shouldn’t we also render to God what is God’s? We are, after all, created in His image.

How do we render to Him what is His? Let’s look a little further:

Matthew 22: 34   Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (NKJV)

‘Nuff said… Let’s give to God what is God’s: Us!

We can’t afford to file an extension.


Stack Up Your Stones

Posted: April 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

My wife Deana and I had our 18th wedding anniversary recently (Insert applause here!) I was thinking about passed anniversaries and that led me to thinking of birthdays and holidays… you know, all the different days we remember year after year.

There are a lot of days that we all celebrate together (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc…) and some, like birthdays, that belong to us personally, allowing us to share exclusively with whomever we want.

You know… one time, God parted the Jordan River and the israelites crossed over on the dry river bed. God instructed a man from each of the twelve tribes of Israel to take a large stone from the riverbed in the middle of the river as they walked across. They then used the stones to build a marker on the bank when they crossed to the other side. It was a way to mark the day… a visual reminder that could be seen for generations to come. It was a monument to what God had done for those who had not yet been born to have as a placeholder for an act of God.

God saw the importance that a pile of rocks could have in commemorating one of His great moments when he proved His provision for His people. Do we take the time today to remember what He has done for us? Do we pass it on to our children? Does His mercy and grace towards us take up any space in our minds at all?

It is good to reflect on His miracles in our lives, whether they belong to us privately or corporately… and don’t forget to stack up your stones.


Opening Thoughts

Posted: April 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hey Guys… Welcome to the Worship Dare Blog.

Here we will find a place where we can share what God is saying to us and discuss any thoughts we have about worshiping God. I look forward to what we will learn from each other and seeing how close we can get to Jesus and the effect He will have on our lives.

Will you place God on the throne of your life?

I dare you!


Irritation Makes Pearls

Posted: April 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

I just became a little irritated…

I went into the Family Christian Bookstore to pick up a copy of Worship Leader magazine. They are $3.95 per copy. I should get a subscription… but that’s another story!

I always dread the man that works at the checkout. I feel terrible about it, but he makes me really uncomfortable. All I want is the magazine but this is what happened today:

“Do you have a membership with us?”

“Yes, but I don’t have the card on me.”

He looks me up on the computer.

“It says here that you actually have 6 cards with us…”

“Okay… I don’t have a card on me.”

He takes my debit card and swipes it. While we are waiting he asks, “Would you like to help dig a fresh water well in Haiti?”

Loaded question: Of course I would like to, but all I have is Worship Leader magazine money today.

“It’s only $12 and you get this wonderful CD from Mercy Me…” He gives me that look.

“Uh… not today,” I tell him.

“Do You have a picture ID?”

I left my wallet in the car.

“I’ll have to go out to the car and get my wallet…”

“Oh, just forget about it!” he says.

So snippy!

He’s irritated…I’m irritated… I hold my tongue and wait.

“Do you have any girls at your house?”

What now, I wonder… but not for long.

“Dr Dobson has this wonderful book coming out in two weeks called ‘Bringing Up Girls.’ If you preorder today, you can have this book right here for free.”

He gestures to a book on display. I don’t look at it. I just want my magazine.

“Would you like to pre-order that today?” he asks, looking at me over the top of his glasses.

“No sir,” I say, hoping this is the end of the seemingly endless pitch.

Finally! Receipt… signature… making tracks for the door.

I am irritated. I think about calling the store manager… but I’m not going to do that. He’s just doing his job… I guess, maybe doing it a little too well.

It’s times like these that I have to remember that a pearl is formed by irritation. When an irritant, such as a grain of sand is introduced into a oyster or clam shell, it begins to irritate the creature within, causing a secretion to fight off the irritation by coating it, layer upon layer, until one day the irritation is no longer seen and all we can see is the beauty of the pearl.

Isn’t it amazing how something so small (like a grain of sand… or an ambitious salesperson) can create such a reaction in us? I hope that I can coat my irritations with enough love… or maybe just restraint in this case, (large forced smile) until all that will be seen is Jesus and not my natural reaction to the irritation.

I love you, Lord. Help me to react at all times the same way that You would.