Anonymous asked: do u know ashlynn swancey
Anonymous asked: do u know ashlynn swancey
Is our worship always done “in spirit and in truth” just because we lift our hands and sing it?
Today in church we started singing the song arms open wide by Hillsong United. This song is basically about surrendering everything we have, our whole life, to God. I have heard/sung this song plenty of times and yet today, in this service, I was struck with an Intense longing and desire to truly live what I was singing. I kept asking Jesus what it truly looked like to live a life that was completely surrendered to Him.
I also truly wanted my life to reflect the songs that I was lifting up to God, and this is what got me thinking about worship.
How many times do we sing in church, and yet not really worship God. We stand amongst a congregation singing a song like Arms Open Wide and yet when we leave the service our life is not one that is completely surrendered to Jesus. We can easily sing songs in church, lift our hands, and yet not be focused on God in any way. We could be just putting on a show to let people see how spiritual we are. We could just be doing it because everyone around is doing it and we don’t want to look un-spiritual.
If we can just go through worship songs without worshiping God, then at what point and when is it truly worship? Is the song itself worship whether you mean it or not, or does worship hinge upon those that are singing? what does it mean to worship in spirit and in truth?
First of all, there is one important thing that we must remember. God is constantly being worshiped (Rev 4:9-11). If we do not worship, even creation will cry out in worship (Luke 19:28-40). When we come together on a Sunday morning to worship God, our worship does not begin and end when we start singing and stop. Worship is constant and it is something we get to partake of and enter into. We are never starting or ending worship in church, we are entering into something that has been constant for eternity. so is worship contingent upon a person? No, because worship is constantly happening, and yes because if a person isn’t worshiping God then they aren’t in worship.
Another point I want to say is something that I have heard said before, it is “music is worship, but not all worship is music.” We like to make music and worship to be synonymous in the sense that only music is worship, but music is only a form of worship. I would actually better describe it as music being a revelation or outcome of worship.
I say that because I believe that worship is lifestyle, or a state of mind and heart. It is, in a way, a very real but very abstract thing. Worship is not physical, you cannot hold it or measure it. Yet it is very real and powerful. It produces actions (music being one of those actions) and it can produce emotions. However, actions and emotions are not always connected with worship.
Worship is a lot like love. Love is something that we can feel and something that can move us into action, but sometimes it is also a choice on our part. Worship can overcome us to a point where we sing or dance, but sometimes we must choose to worship.
With all of this being said I would like to define the form of musical worship in this way. Musical Worship is an expression of our reality through song. The songs we sing in worship are derived from a certain person’s viewpoint on God, life, and the world around them.
A song like How He Loves for example. obviously the writer of that song believed in the reality that God loves us all greatly. Now most likely He got this idea, or view of reality, from scripture, which should be the basis and source of all Christians’ realities. And so, out of the writer’s view of reality and probable inspiration of the Spirit, He created this song.
A christian should receive their view of reality from the scripture and from the Holy Spirit. From their view of reality they should receive the passion and drive to worship (much like one receives the passion and drive to love someone when they get to know them more). And from their passion to worship should derive actions (music, art, etc…).
This is why sometimes you can’t relate to worship songs, because your own view of reality and the view of reality incorporated into the song is different. Yet this is also why there are worship songs that you can completely relate too, because the view of reality lines up. There are some worship songs that can be completely against the Christian faith because their view of reality is not grounded in the scripture.
When a worship song is grounded in scripture, and the view of reality lines up, then One can better connect with a worship song and sing it in spirit and in truth, and when you are worshiping in spirit and in truth, there the presence of God can manifest.
There can be a problem when all of our worship is from songs written by others because they are coming from their own reality which will be different from everyone else’s. This is why worship songs must be strongly grounded in scripture, because that is a basis of reality that all Christians can relate too. If someone were to write a worship song to God about freeing them from drugs and played it in a worship service, it would be difficult for everyone to worship to it because not everyone has been freed from drugs. However a song written about God freeing people without specifying, can be used for worship by basically everyone.
This is why the purest, most truthful, and most precious worship songs, are the ones that you create and come out of your heart as worship to God.
In summing everything up, trying to make sense of all this. Worship is something that must be lived at all times, and out of worship comes music (or other forms of action). That music is derived from a certain view of reality (one which should come from scripture so that the view of reality would actually be true and not some post-modern nonsense). One can relate and connect to a song that’s view of reality is similar to theirs, and once one can relate to a song they are better able to choose to worship in spirit and in truth through it.
Now I know that this post was long, and I am really not trying to set rules to worship or to God, I am just trying to understand and grasp the concept of worship, so that I may better worship Him. I would encourage you the next time you have worship or prayer, to not play any songs written by someone else, but let your own mouth sing out a praise that comes from your heart to God and worship Him in spirit and in truth through it.
It’s the end of the semester, work is crazy, I’m trying to study for finals… and there is so much on my mind I am having a hard time focusing. This semester has been a strange one Indeed. It started with a lot of promise: beginning my major, being on a new floor with all of my close friends, and coming out of a summer where God greatly increased my faith and healed me in many ways. Yet after a few weeks things began to become monotonous. It was the same people, the same places, the same events week after week. I was incredibly bored with life to say the least, and my walk with the Lord began to greatly wane (I posted about this earlier in the year). It was strange because I could see it all happening and yet I didn’t have the drive to do anything about it.
About the middle of the semester I strongly felt a time of change in my spirit. The Lord was up to something in my life, and every time I spoke with Him about the place I was in, all I heard was “change, redemption.” Truly God has come through on His word; I have changed my major, changed churches, and met a lot of new people that, although I have not known them for too long, have truly been a blessing in my life. Through this whole semester I am coming out at the end with a greater understanding and love for Jesus.
He has also taught me a lot throughout this semester. Holy Spirit has placed within me a passion to learn and live out the Kingdom of God, and continue to become more of a man of the kingdom. He has taught me the danger of casting judgement and making assumptions about people that I do not know at all. He is still helping me and teaching me to be a person who brings healing and love everywhere I go. One of the most important things that Holy Spirit has taught me over this semester, something that I needed more than anything, was how to enjoy and embrace the single life. He has brought me to a place of being content with Jesus and Jesus alone. I put up a post about this as well earlier in the semester.
He has also given me so much to be thankful for this semester. The things that the Lord has blessed me with is only by His grace because I definitely do not deserve them. I get to go to a school that is as focused on my growth in my relationship with Jesus as it is on my academic growth, I can not even begin to talk about how thankful I am for that. I am surrounded by some of the godliest men I have ever met, they continually drive me closer to God by their lifestyles and for that I am extremely grateful. Close friends are very important and God has brought some amazing people into my life, whom I hope will remain in my life for a long time. My parents are absolutely amazing and continue to support me even when going to this ridiculously expensive college, and they do it with love and grace. I could not have asked for a better family. Also, Jesus has been amazing to me in every way of course.
However, I have not arrived (not even close), I still have a long race ahead of me. There are still so many areas where I need growth so that I may be the man God has called me to be. I have messed up in so many ways, and fallen so many times, and every time the Lord shows mercy. I continue to press on, to spread the Kingdom of God in any way I can, and to continually get closer to my first love, Jesus, who is the purpose of my life.
When I first started my second year at ORU, I met this kid who lived two doors down from me. I won’t go into too much details about him, but from the way he dressed, acted, and from the conversations we had I thought he was some rebellious, pothead who had somehow ended up at ORU. I remember the first conversation I had with him.
He came up to me and the first thing he said was, “dude, I was just stopped by security!” My first question was obviously “why?” He then proceeded to tell me how he was wandering around the GC when he somehow opened some door that led him out onto the roof and while he was out on the roof security saw him and chased him down.
That encounter pretty much confirmed my first judgement on who I thought he was.
However, after getting to know this guy and actually talking to him, I truly discovered who he was. He is a good friend now, he’s (fairly) normal, he loves Jesus, and he is one of the coolest guys I have ever met. As I was getting to know him I saw how much I had judged him right when I met him even though I had no idea who he was.
We do this a lot don’t we?
We meet someone, and we instantly assume that we understand them, when we actually dont. We pass judgement too quickly on people, and we are usually wrong. Another thing we do is go off the judgements of other people too easily and quickly. I cant even count how many times someone has spoken badly of a person that I didn’t know, and when I finally met that person they were the opposite of what I had heard.
Get to know someone for yourself and don’t assume anything about them. I feel that we destroy a lot of good possible friendships and relationships by denying people access to our lives because we assume something bad about them and stay away.
I don’t know how many times I have heard girls write a guy off as a creep just for walking up and trying to talk to them. I have had guys tell me stories of girls freaking out on them because they simply tried to get to know them. How are you supposed to meet anyone or make friends if you cant just go up and talk to people?
I have gotten to the point where I assume nothing of a person until I sit and talk with them deeply about two things
Their relationship with God and their past.
These are the two things that define people, the things that they have been through and their testimony and how they view and approach God.We are shaped by the situations we have been through, the family we grew up in, the area we lived in, the schools we went too. And obviously those who have been radically changed by Jesus, their life is defined by their relationship with God, what He has done for them and who He is to them. We do not know someone well (I dont believe that we can understand anyone fully, I feel that only God can understand us fully) until we learn these things about them.
“but that means that I only truly know a few of the many people in my life”
Last night, during my overnight housing desk Job, some of the RAs and I had a pretty lengthy and deep discussion about relationships and stuff of that nature down in the fishbowl lobby. The RAs usually leave the lobby at 1:45 but they stayed and talked with me until about 3:00. This conversation got real. It was three guys and one girl, all of us either sophomores or Juniors, and all of us pretty much agreed on everything that was discussed. Three things came up in this conversation that I would like to discuss here.
1) comfortably single
this topic came up a lot in our conversation, and was the one that I really took to heart. So many people, especially at ORU, are obsessed with trying to get into a relationship. I have been around people where all they talk about is relationships and girls and finding there wife etc etc…. If you plan on getting married one day…. awesome… but that does not mean that every second of your life should be spent on you trying to make that come to pass. I feel that it becomes so important to people that we feel that we will only have joy when we find “the one.” This is completely untrue and we must come to a point where we are confident and comfortable with being single. Some people, I think, are not comfortable with themselves and, in a way, want to get away from themselves and try to just jump into a relationship. When you get to a point where you are comfortable with who you are, then you are more comfortable with your singleness and hanging out with yourself. Don’t miss out on the joy of living life single because you think that all joy and happiness is found in finding a relationship and that is all you are focusing on.
“But I need to find my better half!”
which brings me to my next topic
This as well was brought up a lot in our conversation. That crap about some person being your better half, its not true. You do not need a person of the opposite sex to complete you. All you need is you and Jesus and you are as complete as you will ever be. Those people who say they found their better half, are basically saying that they are the bad half, and that they apparently went through their whole life with only half of their self. If you were able to make it into college and through your teenage years with only half yourself, then you better be able to cure cancer and fix all of the worlds energy problems when you find your “better half.” You are not fulfilled in a relationship with another person, you are fulfilled in Christ. You may compliment another person, and reveal their best qualities in a relationship, but you do not complete each other. Contrary to popular belief, a person actually can go through life completely single and be totally normal and fine. The apostle Paul wrote most of the new Testament, and he was single. “Oh but he had a special Paul super anointing of singleness upon his life.” what the heck is that and where does it ever say that in scripture? In fact Paul speaks to the single people and tells them that it would probably be better that they stay single so they can better focus on God. Its not a set in stone commandment, but it is written in the Bible. I think what Paul was trying to defend against, was those who, like us, obsess over relationships to the point where we think our only joy will come from one.
3) Trusting God
One of the guys down in the lobby started talking about how God knows who it is that you are supposed to be with. He said that He speaks with God about it sometimes, and asks Him what she is like, what their relationship will be like. I think I agree with this, I believe that God does know who it is we will end up with and how. Now if you truly believe this, that God understands you enough to bring someone into your life who is perfect for you, then why should we keep stressing about it? If you have spoken to God, told Him that you would like to be married some day, dont you think that He can take care of that for you? I guarantee you He will, because He doesn’t want you to be so focused on trying to find someone that you stop focusing on Him. TRUST GOD. He knows who it will be, He knows how it will happen, If you follow Him and love Him, He will not allow that person to pass by without telling you. Trust God.
We talked about some other stuff, but these are the main topics that I wanted to talk about here. Please take these things to heart if you read this, I am so sick of constantly talking with people about relationships and stuff like that. Its ok sometimes, but not to this excessive place that we sometimes take it. Remember that your joy is fulfilled in your relationship with Jesus, nothing else.
This day of revival was much needed for a multiplicity of reasons. This past summer God did a lot in my life. He healed me in many areas, revealed things to me, and fixed me in many ways. However when I got back to school, it was like things got dull. I have been bored with life for the past couple of months, and I hate being bored. The worst part was that it made me become lax in my walk with God. Little by little I spoke with Him less, read my Bible less, and spent time alone with Him less. The worst part is that I have seen this happening to me and its like I have no passionate drive to stop it. A lot of times I wish that I was back in that time right after I fell in love with Jesus, when my relationship with Him was fresh and exciting and new. It’s not that I have been sad or anything, I am a fairly consistently happy person, and I choose to be that way because being upset all the time is annoying and dumb. I have just really needed that drive to get through this dull point in life, and this revival day has definitely given me that.
We need to remember that dull points come in life. Life is not always going to be a huge revival, it will not always be exciting, it will not always be fresh and new. If we are not able to walk with God in the dull points of life then how will we be able to walk with Him in the exciting and blessed times of life? We must learn to walk with God through all stages, whether on the mountain or in the valley.
Anonymous asked: so are you in college?
Anonymous asked: are you single? why? would you marry a black girl?
What kind of questions are these?