Tag Archives: Francis Chan

At The Heart of Worship…

WorshipWorship…it is a very big topic with a lot of varying opinions about what, why, where and when we do this thing called worship!

I have come to know that my soul purpose here in this earthly existence is to point to Jesus, that is why we… Click To Tweet

(Thank you Frances Chan for making that very evident in Crazy Love.)

With that being said I want us to think about your most favorite person on earth. You know what I mean don’t you…the one you long to be with, can’t get enough time with and can’t wait until the next time! Well now let’s make that person our Lord. Let’s base this whole worship concept on who it is that we adore.

This is a fascinating definition of worship by apologist, Ravi Zacharias:

“is the submission of all of our nature to God,

it’s the quickening of conscience by His holiness,

nourishment of mind by His truth,

purifying of imagination by His beauty,

opening of the heart to His love,

submission of will to His purpose,

All this gathered up in adoration…is the greatest of human expressions.”

~Ravi Zacharias

Love it, an intellectual defining of worship as only Ravi can define! But we aren’t all there with the lofty understanding and sometimes need a down to earth picture of what this worship is all about.

As you can see from Ravi’s point, this is a something you do or we can say that the out-flow from us makes this worship a verb form of the word. Or I like to think of it as a ‘response’ to the Father’s love. The more I get to know Him, the more I want to worship Him in everything I do.

In my everyday living, loving, serving, this is it...this is my response to a God I'm madly in love with, and… Click To Tweet

But what about the musical aspect of worship? Oh I love my worship music! After all I host a radio program for two hours every weekday filled with music that points to the King! That brings Him glory and expresses my love for Him.

Now here’s the thing, music is something I can do a lot of the time because I sing all day long. I wake up with a song in my heart. But I want to say that how I live my life for Him, every moment of every day is really my expression of love for Father!

Pouring my heart out before Him as I express my hearts desire to know Him more!

Singing along and worshiping with this great group of ‘worshipers’ is one amazing event! I love the element of deep focus on the Lord that musical worship brings into my heart. Oh how I look forward to a day when this is what we will be doing forever, gathered with the Saints in worship before the throne of God!!!

Revelation 7.9-12

I don’t know about you but, I think we need to practice the worship thing while we are on this side of eternity! So let me ask you…

  • When do you know you are worshiping God? Does it feel like a result to doing something, like warm fuzzies?
  • How can you practice, this in your everyday living? Careful, I’m not talking about a works based thing here.
  • Remember, worship is a state of the heart. Go back and read Ravi’s description before you move on.

The result of a changed heart from experiencing His presence when we draw near to Him with an adoring heart creates an out-flowing love for others. It brings us to that place called ministry, called caring without thinking about it. Worship is my time with God in whatever form that takes in our individual lives. And on this side of the journey, I am always thrilled when I can pull a bit closer knowing it is transforming me to be more like Jesus.

And another aspect you may want to investigate is that Worship is a Tool! And in the Bible there were the worshipers who went before the soldiers to accomplish a certain task before the battle would take place. Quite fascinating especially how we can apply that to our services today that open and close with worship.

Will you let the Lord pull you a bit closer by opening your heart to His? He wants to reveal more of who He is to you and as you draw near He does just This is the stuff that changes us from the inside out, friend!

“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.”   Psalm 73:28 (NASB)

KD Love and Grace Smaller

Kimberly serves in ministry at Psalm FM Radio in the “Icebox of the Nation” where she hosts a daily music program,”Vertical Connection”

Living northward with her husband, mom, dog and cat is a must while indulging her grandsons with lots of woods to venture in when they visit.

Kimberly loves to encourage and challenge through her words and whether speaking or writing her love for Jesus is evident.

“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much;” Luke 7:47a

Au D’ Clutter…

TreasureSadly, I want to make a confession…I am a clutter bug! There, I made it public! It’s Just another step in the process of recovery. How does one go from hardly anything to so much more than I will ever use let alone need? For many years as a young mom I could pack what I owned (apart from a few pieces of furniture) into a few boxes. But in the process of my first 6.5 years of my first marriage I began to accumulate and accumulate and when I moved after divorce it was a completely different story.

When we built our house and had to go from a trailer into a house it wasn’t quite so bad but…over almost 28 years I have been overwhelmed with stuff…stuff I confess that I will never ever use. Argh, this is just crazy and the last couple of those years have shown me that there really is a problem with possessions but that I am now at a place where I have begun releasing stuff.  After all, what is the point of having boxes of things that may never be utilized? Oh Lord help me!

And indeed He sure has given me the freedom to begin that letting go process. When I read Francis Chan’s book “Crazy Love” a few years ago I was kicked in the pants. I realized first of all, that this life I am living is not about me. Now that took me down a few notches, for sure. But during that process–after being shown that maybe my purpose is not to build Kimberly’s kingdom but God’s—He began to show me some stuff that helped me see from His lens not mine! Like my lovely remodeled family room…which as we were painting and varnishing, building and installing would be nothing but wood, hay and stubble if it couldn’t somehow be used for His kingdom purposes. Yikes! That was a rude awakening.

I began to pray as we were in the finishing process and I asked that God would use this room for ministry and that is just what it became. A place that was inviting and safe to hold a small group of young moms…and then it was a place to hold a small group of couples.  That just amazed me how the Lord completely changed my perspective on this home front so that it would be used for His glory and not my own! Wow, what a difference perspective can make!

My recently deceased brother-in-law had cut down a tree on his lake property and the creative man that he was, sliced this huge cedar tree lengthwise and then began to engrave on it sayings and such and give them as gifts to family members. Well appropriately for us was this Scripture:

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” Luke 12:34

Nyborg  0042It now is placed on a wall in this ‘family’ room and does a great job of reminding me not only of this room’s purpose but my own while here on this side of glory…

Have you wondered about your purpose here on earth? Ask the Father to show you and you will begin to see the tangible way you can be utilized to help others find Him and their purpose!

Father, there are days when I really feel like I fail at serving with all my heart. Knowing I have a long way to go and a short time to get there I am grateful for the lessons that are finally getting through and reminding me of my purpose in this world, to minister and bring others to Your saving knowledge! Let me be Your hands and feet in this scary world we are living, revealing the hope that only comes from knowing You through Jesus. In Your Name I pray.

It’s All About Me…Really?

Words of affirmationClose your eyes, stop and think…random now…where does your mind drift off to? Honestly, I sure think most about me, my world, my home, family, problems and agendas and more ME! It kind of bugs ME to have a Me mindset. After all I share my home with others and thoughts of them tend to bring ME back around to ME. I rather think that this is a natural inclination, to be ME focused. However, as a woman of God, I am learning that this journey here on earth is NOT about ME!

I may have mentioned before that when I read Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love”, it totally rocked my world…forcing me to see outside of me, myself and I. That was a good thing! But I still struggle with myself and my little world rising to the surface. There are so many needs in this world that I become very overwhelmed when thinking about my part in helping others. And what I have found is to practice looking beyond self really starts right in my own home!

As a wife, I need to build into my husband the very elements that I myself desire. What wife doesn’t want a husband who is kind to them? So it is my responsibility to respond to him with kindness. But even when he can be unkind to me? Absolutely! Ask yourself when the last time you were genuinely kind to your spouse and remember how he reacted. Especially those times when you made the choice to respond to him with kindness and inside you were wanting to do likewise!

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. Proverbs 15:1,2

I love the verses above! What is on the tip of the tongue can sway a response every time! And making the choice to respond in kindness will always have an impact. You may not always see the response immediately but believe me it will percolate inside the recipients heart and soften instead of hardening that person’s response.

Do you find yourself sometimes wishing your spouse were gentler and kinder with his words? I have and do with my guy! He loves to be right and he loves to get me to react (and believe me, most times I do!) But I have tested this response thing and nine times out of ten, what I have found is that my gentle, kind response, diffuses his ire!

So here’s the challenge…purpose to respond differently than you would normally, put on that kindness and give it a try…see what happens and let me know how it has worked for you!

Abiding in Him

I have this little piece of wall art that hangs on my wall and it says ‘Abide in Him’.  Using wall art that include words or Scripture speak loudly of my convictions and beliefs.  But the word abide (in itself) is such a descriptive of the Spirit-filled life that I desire to live, yet struggle to attain.  

I was plowing through a book by Francis Chan, called “Forgotten God”, and in his convicting fashion I was challenged by one of my favorite chapters in the book of John, chapter 15.  Chan issues a challenge by asking a profound question, is my life too loud, to which I could readily say “yes it is!”.  Then Francis proceeds to encourage us to put down his book and pick up the Book and read a few chapters in the book of John.  Right to some of my favorites in John, chapters 14, 15 and 16.  

The verb “abide”, according to Merriam-Webster means to wait, endure without yielding, to bear patiently.  It also means to remain stable or in a fixed state and to continue in a place.  In John 15 where the picture of the ‘vine’ is used to describe our life in Christ–we being the branch, Christ being the vine and then the Father addressed as the vinedresser–John uses the word “abide” ten times: 

John 15:4-11 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”

Do you think maybe there is a point to be made here? There are ten references to the word abide in the verses above that are being used to drive home some profound points:

The imperative to remain in Christ;

We aren’t fruitful if we don’t;

If we refuse to abide in Christ we can be thrown away for we aren’t fruitful;

There is an invitation to remain in Christ’s love;

By walking in obedience we partake in His love.

So when I am restless, when I am struggling through (with my own resources) and forgetting that apart from Him I can really do nothing, instead of being frustrated with myself I really need to stop and remember that I am a partaker with Christ.  I really sell myself short and settle for less than His best by “trying” or “trying to do it myself”.  I am sure my Father is thinking “Oh foolish girl”, as I expend efforts that amount to little when in Him I can accomplish great things or at least what He desires and that spells success!  

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I don’t believe if you are a driven person that there is necessarily an easy way to submit your efforts for His peace that only comes from abiding in Him!  God desires that we would “remain stable or in a fixed state” by abiding in Him walking in the Spirit-filled life.  But from one who has been there…stop striving, try it and see.  Then you can appreciate these words from the Psalmist, Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8 (ESV) Abiding in Him is where we fulfill the Spirit-filled life that God desires we live out for Him and His glory!

Father, I remember that this battle to ‘do’ in my own efforts is a winnable battle when I walk with you! I will make the choice today to let You lead via Your Spirit which is living in me! The rest that comes from giving You the reins of my life is well worth the concerted effort it takes to hand them over. So thank You Father for the gift of Your Holy Spirit who allows me to quit my striving by abiding in You!