Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

Archive for November, 2010

Worship Quick Thought: Attitude

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 28, 2010


A few weeks ago, I was in the Sunday morning service when the music leader asked everyone to lift their hands. I overheard a person seated near me that said, “I’m not doing that.

Worship starts in the heart, and I am sure that everybody has their own “way” of expressing outwardly the worship taking place in the heart, but the mouth often indicates what is actually going on in the heart.

What is an “attitude of worship”, and how do you know if you are “worshiping” or just going through the motions?

I think there are questions you can ask yourself to evaluate you quality of your attitude in worship.

What are you thinking about?

If you are thinking, “What are people thinking about me,” then you need to change your focus from you to the one you are supposed to be worshiping.

Maybe you’re concerned about how people perceive the quality of you voice, or that they may think you are “weird” if you lift your hands, close your eyes or clap your hands. Maybe you think you are a crooner and want everyone around you to hear it.  Either way you look at it, if you are thinking about yourself or how you may look, then your worship attitude is off target.  I know it’s a struggle, but try only thinking about God.

Am I caught up in the music?

I am a sucker for a good tune, and music can definitely help the mind and heart connect to God, but it can be just as much of a distraction.  Listen to what you’re saying while you are singing.  Do you mean it? Are you doing what the song says you are doing?  Are they just words on a piece of paper or the wall or are they words written on your own heart?  If you are singing a song as an expression of worship, make sure that you are reflecting the words in the song. If not, don’t sing it.

With God, words mean things.  If you are singing it, to God, it is just like you are saying it.  Many times when I sing, I will do one of three things if my heart doesn’t match the song

  1. I will change the words of the song.
  2. I will pray or sing in the my spirit.
  3. I will just listen.

Remember Jesus’ words, “True worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Keep your worship true.

How can I go deeper?

If you are comfortable with where you are in worship, maybe it’s time to take another step deeper.

You will never ever, ever, ever, ever reach a level of worship on this planet that you will see before the throne of God in eternity. Do not be afraid to dig deeper in your heart and express a little more outwardly.

Until you attain the level of a heart of worship that David reached and demonstrated when he was dancing and leaping before God and all Israel in the streets of Jerusalem unashamed in his underwear (2 Samuel 6), you still have room for improvement.

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This Pacman Doesn’t Gobble Ghosts

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 23, 2010


I am no fan of boxing, but once in a lifetime a person comes along that you just have to love no matter their occupation. His name is Manny (Pacmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan) Pacquiao. I see him as “Manny-smiles”.

His sport is a violent one. The basic object, beat your opponent up before he beats you up. (Sounds like how the rest of the world works, but I digress.)

There are two lessons I learned from watching the 60 Minutes video of him – see below. First, He has a unique skill in boxing; he is equally devastating with both fists.

You may not think that is a very big deal, but when you are on the receiving end, you don’t look for jab, jab, jab, PUNCH! You look out for PUNCH, PUNCH, PUNCH. He is an ambidextrous boxer, and the pain comes from all sides.

We believers need to learn to deal with the enemy of our souls in the same way. Don’t just shore up one part of your life; train your whole life – body, soul, mind, spirit, heart, etc. to be equally strong to both stand against the enemy and to do battle with him when that time comes. Build up the weak areas in your life and reinforce the strong areas.

Second, Manny-smiles! Fighting is not easy, but Manny smiles anyway. Why? I believe it comes from knowing who he is and where he came from. He was a dead man on the streets of the Philippine islands. He worked hard and got a break. He has now won the championship in 8 different weight classes. I guess you could say that he enjoys the battles because he expects to win.

There are a lot of defeated Christians trying to battle through life with a lack of assurance that they can or ever will win. The Scriptures say that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37), so do battle with a smile. You might get hit a few times, but I have a secret for you… the fight has been fixed. You will win in the end!

So fight like you know it.

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Lamps and Lights

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 17, 2010


“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”- Psalm 119:105

There are two principles at work here – lamps and lights.

The lamp in those days was not much more than a strong candle.  One candle-power isn’t much light and can only light a very small area – most notably, around your feet.

The light to the path is a whole different aspect of light.  This light is stronger and can illuminate much further ahead. It could have the power of several hundred lamps like a torch or bonfire.

So what does this mean?

The Lamp

The lamp aspect of the Word deals with your circumstances right now.  What are you going through? What challenges are you facing? What temptation besets you? What attack is the enemy using? How do you deal with the immediate situation?

The Word of God is a quick and powerful tool that the Spirit of God can use in your life for strength to face any and all situations that hit you. To access this tool you need to have it handy – e.g. hide it in your heart, memorize it in your head and/or keep it in your pocket.

Light

The Light to the Path aspect of the Word mean that the Word of God is laid out in a way to help you avoid pitfalls in the first place. God built into the Scriptures hundreds of life examples of how to and how not to walk.  If your path is well lit, then you can more confidently walk by the light. The more light, the more confident.

To light your path, you need to daily invest in the Word through reading and meditating on it.

Summary

So the Lamp of the Word is for right now, and the Light of the Word is to prepare you for what’s ahead giving you a chance to deal with it or avoid it all together.

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How Many Points can One Verse Contain?

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 13, 2010


“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.”- 1 Peter 2:15-16

Wow! How many points can you find in one verse?

  1. What is God’s will? To do good
  2. The power of Good over Evil
  3. How to silence critics- do good
  4. Don’t let ignorant talk and foolish people get you down
  5. Live as free people
  6. Don’t let your freedom trump other people’s freedom
  7. Don’t play church (using your freedom as a cover for evil)
  8. Be a slave for God
  9. If you want to be free, be a slave for God
  10. We don’t need to follow the rules of the world’s ways

Do you see anything else?

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Sanity in the Midst of the Insane

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 7, 2010


Ever look around and think you are the only sane one in the room?

OK, maybe not.

What about those times that everything around you is going crazy, and the only way to keep from going insane is to act crazy too?

OK, that struck a chord.

However, if you take it to the extreme, which I often do, you can actually out shine the insanity around you and people will avoid you. (That’s the story of my life.)

It’s also the story of David one time when He was hiding from Saul among his own enemies, the Philistines.

David had to come up with a plan fast to save himself, so he fained insanity.

So [David] pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.

Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?” 1 Samuel 21:13-15

That might seem like a strange ploy, but it worked, and David lived another day.

When we live out our faith, we must seem to the world around us like David looked to the Philistines in Gath.  They tell us, “Your insane to believe that the whole universe was created in 6 days,” or “How can you believe that Jesus is the ‘only’ way to eternal life?”

However, the best laid logic of the human mind just can’t put its arms around an infinite God that stands outside of the time/space continuum.

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:21-24

It’s not that we know all the answers to the questions, “Why”, “How”, “When” and “What”, but we do have the answer to the question “Who?”

 

 

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Know Your Enemy

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 1, 2010


Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.- 1 Peter 5:8-9

Some suffering is self inflicted.  Choices we make that come back and bite us.

Other suffering is a direct result of an enemy that is out there that wants one thing… your destruction!

Know your enemy

He is not nice or thoughtful nor does he have your best interest at heart.  He will do whatever it takes to bring you down. His best weapon is your ignorance.  So here are some steps to stay on top and overcome.

Be Self-Controlled

We live in a culture with no control.  We eat too much, play too much, complain too much and don’t spend enough time on things that really matter.  We need to prioritize and become more disciplined.

Be Alert

Don’t look for a devil behind every bush, but do be aware that in every situation there is the potential for the enemy to come in.  We are in the last days, and Satan knows it.  He is more active today that perhaps anytime in history, and every believer needs to be vigilant.

Resist Him

Every believer is endowed with the power of Christ, which is the Holy Spirit.  We are bought and owned by God, but because we live in “battlefield Earth”, we are targets of the enemy.  The greatest power God gave us is the power of choice.  We can say, “No!” We can run; we can turn from the enemy and in doing so, stand against him.  He may attack us, but he cannot own us.

Stand Firm in the Faith

Do not doubt, but trust God.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

By standing firm you will gain life. (Luke 21:19)

You are not Alone

One of the hardest things to remember when you are suffering is that you are not the only one.  There are literally thousands and perhaps millions around the world suffering for their faith.  Just hang in there because the hope we have in Christ is not like that of the world.  We have a guarantee from the Lord that we will one day be with the Him and every tear, pain and trouble will be wiped away! (Revelation 21)

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