Joy in January: Every Praise

Joy in January: Every Praise

I love this video, and I think you will too! I go back to it often because it helps set it all into perspective for me -- truly...

...EVERY PRAISE is to our GOD! Amen!

So find a private spot (if you are inhibited like me) or grab your nearest friend, relative, child, or grandchild (my personal favorite), and move your body, soul, and spirit in every praise to our glorious God...hallelujah!

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Joy in January: Dance for your Life!

Joy in January: Dance for your Life!

Life, glorious life!  How we take life for granted, until...

someone we love dies,

our health or safety is gravely threatened,

we realize our days are waning because of the years...

It is then that we value what we've had all along.

But there's a Life that we never need fear will diminish, be endangered, be lost...

In fact, this Life can grow in our experience even in this time-based, fearful, waning physical life.

What is this Life?

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Resurrection ZOE -- the Dance of LIFE!

Resurrection ZOE -- the Dance of LIFE!

Easter isn't Easter unless it's Easter to YOU!

So declared a radio preacher early in Holy Week a few years ago. At first I said, "Yes!"  Then I thought about it awhile and said, "Not really! Easter is Easter whether I get it or not."

What is Easter anyway? Easter is the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the grave. He had conquered sin and death on the cross and then was raised, so that we could walk in newness of life. (cf. Romans 6:4)

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Joy in January: Every Praise

I love this video, and I think you will too! I go back to it often because it helps set it all into perspective for me -- truly...

...EVERY PRAISE is to our GOD! Amen!

So find a private spot (if you are inhibited like me) or grab your nearest friend, relative, child, or grandchild (my personal favorite), and move your body, soul, and spirit in every praise to our glorious God...hallelujah!

[youtuber youtube='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuuZMg6NVeA']

 

"Carried Along"...

I've never been a dare devil!  When I was a teenager, I do remember going on the roller coaster at Palisades Park.  But said coaster was nothing compared to what exists today.  Even on those momentous birthdays (like 40, 50, 60), I never even considered para-sailing, sky diving, zip lining, scuba diving, etc.  I guess you would say that I play it safe.  But I know I miss out!

Recently two of my friends were shocked that, at my age, I didn't know how to swim.  In my defense, I never had opportunity to learn as a child...and even more than that, some bratty kid at a community pool had held my head underwater for what seemed like an eternity.  So to this day, I have a hard time yielding myself to water, to just float and be "carried along"...even on a raft or inner tube.

Another area I have difficulty with is dance.  My secret desire is to be able to dance my heart out.  But aside from dancing with my toddler grandsons, I just can't abandon myself to dance...except maybe in private.  My daughter recently posted on facebook:

I’m so stiff. In dance at University of Dayton I remember the instructor saying that true dancing came after learning the steps and just letting it flow. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to do that in dance or life.

My niece is a dancer, and I so admire and envy her. She at a young age learned to abandon herself to the dance and "just let it flow."

But even though physically I have a very difficult time letting myself be "carried along,"  there is one area where I am learning and growing in this kind of abandonment.  And that is in my relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.

For much of my Christian walk, I've been stiff and unyielding, not on purpose, but mostly out of ignorance.  I've  thought I was supposed to live a godly life, minister to others, etc. with God's help...which He would give if I prayed correctly etc.  But now I know that as I abandon myself to "His dance," so to speak, HE will carry me along in the flow of HIS purpose and pleasure.

I've been doing some writing lately to finish a book project.  A spiritual mentor of mine said that he was praying for me that I would be "carried along" by the Holy Spirit as I write.  Here is the verse he shared:

...men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21b ESV

The cool thing is that this word in the Greek is the same one used in Acts 27.  This passage is the account of Paul being taken as a prisoner to Rome.  As the ship carrying him and others encountered a severe storm, the sailors knew not to fight it but rather yield to the wind.  They allowed the ship to be driven along without their control:

...and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be driven along. ...fearing that they might run aground on the shallows of Syrtis, they let down the sea anchor and in this way let themselves be driven along. Acts 27:15,17 NASB.

What a great metaphor for life in the Spirit...not resisting but letting ourselves be carried along in His empowering stream.

This also makes me think of Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus:

Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. John 3:7-8 ESV

The movement of the Spirit is a powerful thing...amazing, beyond comprehension...a mystery.  And those who yield to His flow experience "skill beyond their skill," "words beyond their words," "love beyond their love," "fullness beyond their fullness."

So what does it take?  Jumping into the "Ocean that is God," yielding to His indwelling life, and letting His Spirit carry you along for His purpose and pleasure.

Holy Spirit, living Breath of God,
Breathe new life into my willing soul.
Bring the presence of the risen Lord
To renew my heart and make me whole.
Cause Your Word to come alive in me;
Give me faith for what I cannot see;
Give me passion for Your purity.
Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.

Holy Spirit, come abide within;
May Your joy be seen in all I do-
Love enough to cover ev'ry sin
In each thought and deed and attitude,
Kindness to the greatest and the least,
Gentleness that sows the path of peace.
Turn my striving into works of grace.
Breath of God, show Christ in all I do.

Holy Spirit, from creation's birth,
Giving life to all that God has made,
Show your power once again on earth;
Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise.
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
That in unity the face of Christ
Will be clear for all the world to see.

You might also like:  Resurrection Dance...let it flow!

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Resurrection Dance...Let it Flow!

A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to teach through a difficult passage of Scripture in my weekly ladies Bible study.  I had asked the Lord to give me an easy time during the week while I was studying.  Well, from my limited human perspective, just the opposite happened.  Whatever could go "wrong," did just that! So by the end of the week, I was ready to "go over the edge!"  That's when the precious Spirit of God said to my heart,  "Abandon yourself to the lesson, and just let it flow!"  So I did, and it did, by the grace of God!

A few days later, my daughter posted the following on facebook after her zumba class at the gym:

I'm so stiff. In dance at University of Dayton I remember the instructor saying that true dancing came after learning the steps and just letting it flow. I don't think I've ever been able to do that in dance or life.

What would happen, dear friends, if we would abandon ourselves to the Risen, Indwelling Christ and just let Him flow?  What would our dance be like?  What would our life be like?  If New Covenant living means, "God does it, therefore we do it," then our life could be God dances, so we dance!

May it ever be so, O our glorious Jesus...Dancer Par Excellence!

*Click to view video

[youtuber youtube='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KX2-J6uS-o']

We have often asserted and we affirm it yet again That no fact in History is better attested than the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead It must not be denied by any who are willing to pay the slightest respect to the testimony to their fellow men. That Jesus, who died upon the cross and was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimethia, did literally rise again from the dead.

This is a celebration We’re calling out to every nation to spread the word that Jesus is alive. We’re people of His Kingdom His resurrection is our Freedom For every heart, every tongue and every tribe. Woah, We will dance with the One That shines brighter than the sun Woah, We lift our eyes up and rise up. He will rise up! He’s alive He’s alive inside us We will rise up. We claim the victory, He won on Calvary Celebrate the King of Glory So rise up, People of the Lord rise up. We’re filled with Holy Fire Lifting His name is our desire and this we know His Spirit is in this place. Let nothing stand between us, We carry the love that has redeemed us. He is life abundantly given to us in grace. Woah, We will dance with the One That shines brighter than the sun. Woah, lift our eyes up and rise up. He will rise up! He’s alive He’s alive inside us We will rise up. We claim the victory, He won on Calvary Celebrate the King of Glory So rise up, People of the Lord rise up. Woah, We will dance with the One That shines brighter than the sun. Woah, lift our eyes up and rise up. He will rise up! He’s alive He’s alive inside us We will rise up. We claim the victory, He won on Calvary Celebrate the King of Glory So rise up, People of the Lord rise up. He will rise up ! He’s alive, he’s alive inside us. And we will rise up. We claim the victory, He won on Calvary Celebrate the King of Glory So rise up, People of the Lord rise up. People of the Lord rise up !

This Easter may you put all your eggs in one basket -- all your joys and fears, sadness and tears, in the one and only risen Lord.  Happy Easter! Beth Loyd Filson 2013

It is God’s will that I should cast On Him my care each day; He also bids me not to cast My confidence away.

But oh, I am so foolish That when taken unawares, I cast away my confidence And carry all my cares. T. Baird*