Idolness

I’m watching the Tennessee Titans play the New York Jets at LP Field in Nashville.

The Titans are 10-0 right now and are currently losing to the Jets. Maybe they’ll be 10-1 after this is over. Maybe they’ll be 11-0. It’d be nice to stay undefeated but I really don’t care that much if they lose or win. I just cheer for the Titans cuz I live in Nashville.

A few minutes ago, the Jets scored to make the score 20-3 in favor of the Jets. After catching the football, the touchdown-acquiring receiver ran out of the back of the end zone. Fans quickly started slapping his pads and patting him on the back in praise for what he’d done.

While watching that scene, something struck me. Fans clamor to touch famous people. Famous athletes. Famous actors. Famous musicians. Famous folks. We’ve all seen mobs of fanish individuals hound and surround the prey of their feverish attention and devotion. All of this energy and focus goes into just touching someone famous. Or talking to someone famous. Or trying to develop a relationship with someone famous.

I’m a people watcher so I notice this sort of thing a lot. And, since I live in Nashville, I’ve got ample opportunities to see the fans interact with the famous. It’s mesmerizing to watch a fan pour out all of their love for the famous in mere seconds. Because that’s all they have. Fifteen seconds to tell a football player he’s awesome before he runs away to the sidelines. Thirty seconds to declare unending devotion to a drummer in an autograph line before the security guard ushers in the next fan.

After a momentous (and I say momentous because it contains the word moment, implying a short amount of time) encounter with someone famous, a fan can be on a high for hours, days, weeks, months and even years. A moment becomes a lifelong memory. A moment that the famous person will probably not even remember will be forever inscribed on the mind of the fan.

Does all of this seem weird to you? Does it appear extreme? It should. That’s what I’m going for. I hope you felt awkward when reading about the fan/famous relationship.

I know this has been said before, but it’s weird and wrong and backwards to watch thousands of people scream praises to athletes/musicians/actors and accept that as normal. Human hero worship is not normal. It’s abnormal. it’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

We were created to worship God. The only (once) human we should worship is Jesus. It should feel and appear and look normal to worship God. Yet, to most, it doesn’t. Most people feel awkward worshiping God publicly. Most won’t scream praises as loud as they can to their Creator.

Even I feel that. I feel compelled to scream as loud as I can at a football game to try and spur on my team to victory. Yet, in church, when my pastor instructs me to show God my praise and thanksgiving for what He’s done in my life, something holds me back. Something constrains my total volume of gratitude toward God.

Maybe it’s the age-old unwritten rule that I’m supposed to be quietly reserved, respectful and reverent in church that stops me. *shrug* Probably.

Let’s put it in perspective. Jesus Christ enduring the crucifying cross as payment for my sin is way more praise-worthy than a Titan scoring a touchdown. WAY MORE. The touchdown doesn’t eternally matter. Jesus’ sacrifice does.

Back in the day (as in when Jesus was alive) people really did clamor just to touch the hem of His garment. They knew they’d be healed if they touched Him. I wonder if most of the world has forgotten that time in history. I know things would be different if people started remembering how powerful God’s healing is.

As my last blog said, there’s a huge Bible illiteracy epidemic. If more people read the Bible and worked to understand it, they’d remember how heralded Jesus was. If Christians weren’t so irrelevant and actually lived their lives in relevant reverence of God, then people would see that only God should be worshiped. Biblical Christians know that God has healing power and they walk in that healing power. They administer His healing power. They testify to His healing power. That’s life changing. That’s eternal.

The football game is now over.  The undefeated Titans just lost. Now thousands of fans are upset with them. Now they are held in less reverence.

God never loses. He never makes mistakes. His will and timing are perfect. The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are the undefeated Team. Hold Them in reverence. Worship Them. Do everything you can to encounter Them.

Don’t set your sights and desires on the idols of this world. They will only disappoint you.

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You either swallow the Enemy or let him out

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll probably remember a few posts about my prayer walks at MTSU (the local college).  If you haven’t been a faithful reader, then I’ll explain.  Basically, I took prayer walks on the MTSU campus all summer long.  I also continued to take them after school started up again.  Well, after I started working at the temp agency, I didn’t take the walks as often as I wanted to.  And, I eventually stopped a little over a month ago.

Since I stopped prayer walking, there have been two shootings and one stabbing on campus.  Knowing I hadn’t prayer walked in so long and hearing about all of those violent things happening really convicted me.  So, today I Trikked to campus and took some time to pray and seek God for specific scripture for the campus/my life/the city/the church.

And, as always, God did not disappoint.  While there, I had a great time of prayer and I also received a few awesome scriptures. 

1 Samuel 2:1-10 — What first caught my attention was verse 10.  “The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces.”  While thinking about all of the violence on campus, it was comforting to read that all of the evil that was so prevalent would be destroyed.  I was reading these verses in the New Spirit Filled Life (NSFL) Bible.  It’s the New King James Version.  The NSFL Bible has great explanations, especially for verse one.  The verse says, “I smile at my enemies…”  The explanation for that verse said it was a cross reference for another verse that means an open mouth devouring enemies. 

My next scripture was Isaiah 29:9-24.  It talks about praising God with lip service but not sincerely praising Him.  It’s idle religion without an honest relationship with God.

And finally, I was led to Psalm 111 and 112.  Psalm 111 is an example of the correct way to praise God as a congregation.  Psalm 112 talks about delighting in the Lord (i.e. smiling at Him).

After reading all of this scripture God gave me two visions.

One was of an open, smiling mouth of praise that devoured the Enemy (as the 1 Samuel passage said).

The second was of a mouth speaking the words of the Enemy: idle religion, division, disunity and lies like that of the people in the Isaiah scripture.

The church of America has become irrelevant.  It’s like the people in Isaiah.  Idle religion.  Lip service. 

The church of America needs to be like the 1 Samuel passage and those two Psalms.  We need to delight in the Lord.  We need to smile at Him and, consequently, devour our Enemy. 

The tongue speaks life and death.  The mouth either devours or releases the Enemy.

What Is Knew?

What do I know?  What’s there that I knew?

What’s knew is I’ve been learning a lot from my church lately.  There’s always something that I could blog about but whenever I’m really pensive it’s never when I’m at a computer.  And a BlackBerry really isn’t the best tool for writing a long blog.

So, bullet-point-esque as it is, here’s a quick run down…

1. I lost one job and got another.  (Doesn’t it seem like I’m always talking about jobs?  Feels like that to me.)  I was working as a Human Resources Assistant for about two months.  That’s what I started doing after my four month employment hiatus.  However, that job was temporary and its tempness ran out.  Thankfully, my manager told me a week ahead of time that my assignment was ending.  So, I applied at local grocery stores, banks, retail stores, etc.  I was willing to do pretty much anything to serve my community, even if it meant working as a cashier though I have a college degree.

However, my former boss (the one I had while working at CCM Magazine) called me up and offered me contract work at her current job.  She was laid off from CCM a little while before I was.  So, thank the Lord, I am now working again as a Search Engine Optimization Specialist.  Basically I help make websites more search engine friendly.  It’s fun.  It combines math and English.  It’s always interesting.  If you need any SEO help, I’m your girl.  🙂

The weekend after I found out my temp job was ending, a little bit of worry crept in.  You are aware of how the economy is right now.  Although I believe in God and trust His provision in my life, it’s sooooooo easy to fall into worry and concern over my financial future.  However, one evening while I was taking my dog for a stroll, God really spoke to me.  He said, “Lindsay, you have to believe Me for Who I am.  I am not a God of doubt or anxiety or fear.  I am a God of trust, faithfulness, belief and faith.  If you are believing in fear, worry and anxiety, then I can’t help you because I am not those things.  But if you believe and have faith for provision, protection and promotion, then I can deliver those things.  I can’t and won’t compromise My character so you need to trust me for who I AM.” 

That was a revelation!  God can’t deliver doubt.  He can’t deliver fear.  Cuz those things are not His character.  He can deliver aspects of who He is but cannot deliver aspects of who He is not.  Glorious revelation.

I also received another dog-walking revelation a week or so ago.  As my dog was doing his business, I prophesying over my life and speaking truth over my unemployed situation.  (Obviously, at that time, I did not yet know of the Search Engine Optimization job.)  I was walking around on the cold night and saying things like, “God will provide.  I am in His will.  I am walking obediently.  I am under His hand of blessing.” 

Soon, counter thoughts came in from the Enemy.  “You can’t trust God to come through for you.  Look at the economy.  You’re going to be unemployed again.  You’ll never get another job right now.  In fact, you are speaking in pride when you say God will provide.  You’re being conceited.  You are supposed to be humble.  God will oppose this.”

And, God (through the Holy Spirit) replied, “Whoa, whoa…wait a minute here.  Trusting Me is not prideful.  In fact, it’s humble.  What’s the definition of humility, Lindsay?”

“Humility is confidence properly placed in Christ,” I said.

“That’s right.” He replied, joyfully.  “So, if humility is confidence properly placed in Me and I oppose the proud and give grace to the humble, then there is nothing wrong or prideful with trusting in Me.”

“Exactly!” I exclaimed.

“Exactly.” He responded.

There’s nothing wrong with trusting God completely because He is entirely faithful to provide. 

Another lie from Satan refuted.  Another thought victory won.

2. The Church as a whole is suffering from Bible illiteracy.  That’s a big one, folks.  A big one.  So big that it may offend some of you as readers.  And, if you are offended by that, then it supports my point of being Bible illiterate.  Cuz the Bible says not to take offense. 🙂

But seriously though.  There isn’t enough Fear of the Lord in the Church today.  People don’t revere God.  People are not really in awe of Him.  And they are espeically not in awe of His Word, i.e. the Bible. 

It’s known as “The Good Book.”  If the book’s so good then why do so few people read it?  Why does no one study it and pore over the words on the pages like they pore over Harry Potter, Twilight or a Mark Twain novel?  I am speaking with exaggerated words here when I say “no one.”  But on the grand scale, it seems like no one.

I’m not just speaking to you all.  I’m also reminding myself.  I admit/confess that I do not know the Bible as well as I need to.  I will be pursuing the Word with more purpose and focus from now on.

3. I had five points a minute ago and the last three somehow got deleted because I was typing so fast and then suddenly it was gone.  I hate it when that happens.  (The things I go through for you, Abi.)

4. We officially launched New Song Murfreesboro (http://www.new-song.com) on October 26.  We meet in a movie theater.  It’s awesome to have a full-time Sunday morning church after over a year of preparation.

5. I led worship at Life Group (our church’s small group ministry) for the first time last Wednesday.  It was awesome!  It’s a humbling and awe-inspiring experience to lead worship.  I love it.  I’m excited to grow in this area.

6. My interest for marriage has been piqued.  I sense that I’m ready to move into a marriage season.  No I’m not dating.  No I’m not courting.  However, I want to do those things.  I mean…almost every single person wants to be un-single to some degree.  But I really am sensing a desire for marriage rising up inside of me.  I’m not discontent with being single.  I don’t hate being single.  I’m not even complaining.  But I am saying that I do want to get married some day.  And I hope that day comes soon.  *nod*

7. I think I’m done.  After the fiasco of losing half this blog, I better quit while these words are still here.