Footprints on the Heart

Posted in Heart, Impact, Relationships by PCraig on June 27, 2013

In our elders meetings, we are using a book called Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft as our monthly reading.  So, in today’s meeting we looked at chapter two of the book.  In this passage, Kraft shares a quote that impacted his life to the extent that he now displays it on his desk.  Here’s the quote:

Some people come into our lives and quietly go.  Others stay awhile, and leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. 

Wow!  After reading this for myself, I’m ready to put it on my desk.  It got me thinking about the people who have left footprints on my heart.  I’m so grateful for the impact they have made upon my life that helped me to be the person I am today.  Then it also got me thinking about where I’m leaving footprints.  Who are the people that I’m impacting that will be better because of my influence?  How am I strategically and intentionally leaving a mark on others that will last beyond my days?

So, how about you?  Who are you grateful for because of the footprints they left on your heart?  And, what hearts are you leaving an impression upon that will cause them to be grateful you came their way?

 

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Whatever Worship

Posted in Attitude, Missions, Worship by PCraig on June 20, 2013

Our missions team just returned from Peru yesterday and here are some thoughts:

  • You can worship God anywhere in the world.  We had some awesome worship times in the church in Chincha, Peru.  We didn’t need to have the same language as long as we had the same Spirit.
  • Your body can be totally exhausted, but inside feels incredibly alive because of the sense of accomplishment and gratitude of God using you to make a difference in this world.
  • There’s nothing like putting God first and giving of yourself in service to others.  It’s what Jesus meant when He said that by losing our lives we would find them.
  • Whether carrying cement, tying rebar, or sitting in worship service together, the love you can experience with people of other cultures is powerful.
  • Seeing people in need helps you appreciate all that you have.  Everyone should get out of their bubble and see how blessed they are.
  • I love watching people go on their first missions trip and see how their lives are forever changed.  I’m sure our Heavenly Father loves watching it more.

During the missions trip, one of our team reminded me of the verse where Paul said, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col. 3:17)

You can make anything glorify God today (even carrying cement) if you’ll do it as unto Him.  May He be honored in your life and mine each day by whatever we do.

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The Power Of United Worship

Posted in Attitude, Fellowship, Humility, Submission, Worship by PCraig on June 11, 2013

I’ve been reading Ephesians this week and I can’t get away from the emphasis Paul puts on unity, one another and joining together.  Why such a push for this coming together?  I think God knows our tendency of focusing way too much on ourselves. We think about ourselves all the time and so little on others.  All that changes when we come together though, especially in worship.

In worship, I begin to focus on God first of all.  At least that’s what true worship does.  I come before Him offering my life, my lips and my legacy (or future).  When I do that, it becomes all about Him.  What He wants me to do, how He wants me to act, where He wants me to go, instead of my thoughts, ways and agenda.

Also, when I get around God’s people and get busy serving them, I don’t have as much time to think about my needs, wants and desires.  In other words, I’m not near the selfish slug that I woke up being this morning.  Instead, I make my life about helping others, serving their needs, and ministering to their concerns.

True worship brings us to a place of unity where our desires are placed under His and others.  Where He can teach us to be unselfish.  The result is that the world sees that submission and the power of God flowing through it, and wants more of it.

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The Heart Of Worship

Posted in Attitude, Heart, Worship by PCraig on June 6, 2013

Somehow many people think worship is about them.  You find this by hearing them say things like, “I really enjoyed that worship today” or “I liked the choices of songs for worship” and “I didn’t care for the way they did that song today.”  What is common in all these statements?  They all begin with “I” instead of “He.”  The ultimate destination of worship is to lift up Jesus not you.  Now, while seeking to lift up Jesus, you will be edified yourself.

When Jesus talked to the woman at the well, she was more focused on the location of worship than the attitude of worship (John 4).  Jesus redirected her attention to the thing that matters most to God: our heart.  He expressed God’s search for worshipers is not in a particular style, external location or format, but rather an internal goal.  God is looking for those who will worship Him “in spirit and in truth.”  In other words, quit arguing about the external things of worship, and start working on the internal things of your soul submitted to Him.

Why did people in Jesus day argue about where to worship?  Because it’s easier to argue about the place, style, or form of worship than it is to address our wicked hearts that need the penetrating power of God to worship in “spirit and truth.”  Most of us don’t need a location to worship we need the transformation of worship to make us more like Jesus.  But, that’s a lot harder to find.

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