Category Archives: worship

1983

“Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints, nor is weary.  His understanding is unsearchble.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall.  But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;  They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”   Isaiah 40:28-31

It was the winter of 1983 when I first heard these verses.  I was baby new in Christ.  I had just given my life to Jesus about 8 months prior, and was attending what I believe was my first Highschool winter camp up at Twin Peaks…Calvary Chapel’s conference center/Bible College, back in the day.

I remember everything vividly from those days.  I was so hungry for anything and everything Jesus.  Hearing the Word of God was like eating a delicious 5 course feast after starving in the wilderness for so very long.  I wanted it anywhere…all the time.  It didn’t matter to me who was speaking.  I didn’t know any of their names anyway. “Chuck who?…Richard whats-his-name…Raul?”  As long as it was about this “Jesus” who I belonged to now, well then you bet I’ll be there.

So, back to the winter of 1983.  My first Highschool winter retreat.  I was 17 years old.  Snow was falling in beautiful Crestline in the San Bernardino Mountains, and it was time for early morning devotions.  I remember trudging through the snow, sleepy eyed, but non the less excited for what I would hear when I got to the small, round auditorium.  I must have been a few minutes late, for when I got there the room was already filled with teenagers, and resonated with the beautiful sounds of guitar praise.  Oh, how I loved that.  It was like walking into Heaven.  Sounds corny, I know…but so real, and still such a wonderful memory for me.

Our singing came to a close, and a young, fresh faced, what I would have called  “surfer chick”, got up to give us the Word.  She sat right at the front of that little round stage (I know some of you remember it).  She didn’t sit in a chair.  She sat cross legged on the floor, and opened her bible.  She then read the above passage from Isaiah 40.  She didn’t give an incredible dissertation on the passage.  No three point study.  She just read it.  But, every once in a while…she would comment.  “Oh, can you imagine it?  It says we will mount up with wings like eagles, and run and not grow weary…and walk and not faint…”  She was so sincere.  So in love with Jesus.  The words she simply read were life to me, and life changing.  I remember thinking, “I wanna be just like her…cute, surfer chick, completely in love with Jesus, sitting on a stage, reading the Word of God to whoever wants to listen.”  Well…maybe not a surfer chick  😉 

I’m going through the book of Isaiah right now in my personal devotions.  So, when I got to this passage in chapter 40 it triggered this wonderful memory.  It brought back so clearly the simplicity of what it felt like…what it meant to only want Jesus.  To want everyone else to want Him too.  I’m feeling such a need for that First Love these days.  There’s too much trial and tribulation going on in these United States, not to mention the whole world, to not give people the simple truth.  It’s real.  It’s the only thing that will satisfy, and people are starving in the wilderness.  They need to know they can mount up on wings as eagles.  They can run and not be weary.  They can walk and not faint.

“Give me Jesus, give me Jesus.  You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.”

simply in love with Him

Mary

p.s.  No offence meant toward Chuck Smith, Richard Cimino, or Raul Ries…their names are well known to me.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under scripture, worship, youth

At Peace in Worship

I just absolutely love this picture. And, I absolutely love digital cameras that help me to take great pictures when I have no idea what I’m doing. I took this picture up on the hill where our church meets. Our church is blessed to be able to rent a facility that sits a top a hill, overlooking a vineyard valley and the Russian River below. As you walk from the church building, across a grassy, tree lined green belt, you then come to this overlook…and this is what you’ll see. Except, it’s always changing depending on what season we’re in. In the Summer, the vineyards are deep green, and the river is low and slow. When it’s very hot, and believe me it gets very hot up there in the summer, you can hike down the trails after church and float down the river. In the winter, the vines are bare with no leaves, but the hills all around are deep green. Sort of what I would imagine Ireland to look like. The river, on the other hand, is swollen and high from the rains. It moves swiftly, taking with it tree branches and debris, and even people if they’re not careful. And the picture you see above is Fall. Probably my favorite season in these parts. All this to say that I went up there one afternoon, about two weeks ago, to try to get some shots of the beautiful fall colors before they were all gone.

All these thoughts and reflections of that day came about as I was cleaning a bookshelf in my bedroom. These shelves are just packed full of books, and I’m embarrassed to say, had not been dusted in weeks. As I was pulling all these books from the shelf; commentaries, dictionaries, study guides, fiction, biographies…I came across a tiny book called, “Gems From Tozer: Selections from the writings of A.W. Tozer” It’s a conglomeration of lines, paragraphs, and sayings from several of Tozers books. The second chapter of the book is called, “The Missing Jewel Of Worship”. The first line of this chapter hooked me, right in the heart. It said, “We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God.” Everlasting? You mean boundless, abiding, ceaseless, endless, imperishable, continuous, timeless, uninterrupted, indestructible, permanent, undying, and eternal? That kind of everlasting? (No, I’m not that smart…I used a Thesaurus) I stood up on that hill, overlooking that beautiful, golden valley. The air was warm, the wind gently moved the leaves in the trees. I could hear the soft babble of the river down below. I tell ya, all I wanted to do was lay down in the grass under those trees and worship my God. But I couldn’t. I was in a hurry. I had somewhere else to be and only had a few minutes to take my pictures. So, snap, snap, snap, and back in the car I went to drive back down the hill. It wasn’t until I uploaded, and saw those beautiful pictures, and then decided to clean a bookshelf, that the Lord spoke to me about Himself. He’s so good to take the simple things in our lives, like pictures and cleaning, to speak into our hearts a deeper truth. Oh how I want to be an endless, timeless, uninterrupted (and all those other words), worshipper of God. Does this mean I walk around in a dreamlike state…unfocused, uninvolved, never really a part of this life? You’ve heard the saying, “Too heavenly minded for any earthly good”. By the way, I detest that saying. How could anyone ever be too heavenly minded? If anything, we can very easily be too earthly minded for any heavenly good. You see, I believe that everything we do here in this life is to be worship to our God. Now, you can define what “everything” means to you. For me it means EVERYTHING. That may sound nebulous. But Tozer also says, “Worship means ‘to feel in the heart.'” In other words, as I go through the motions and tasks of my day, it means nothing without my Lord. All I have in this life has been given by Him. He has given Himself so freely to me. I, with heartfelt worship, will give all back to Him. Getting up in the morning and making breakfast can be worship to Him. Going to work or school can be worship. Raising our kids, taking care of elderly parents, doing the dishes, cleaning a bathroom, sitting in church on Sunday, or standing on a hill to breathe in the beauty surrounding you…all can be worship to the King.


“All the earth shall worship You and sing praises to You. They shall sing praises to Your Name.” Selah

Psalm 66:4



Gems from Tozer

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Filed under pictures, Tozer, worship