The Scariest Journey…(Podcast & Pondering)

Listen to the Podcast here (or read transcript below):

Dear fellow Ponderers, I apologize for my absence as of late, you see we had a double whammy in our home.  First our four wonderful children were off of school for Spring Break.  Secondly, all four of our wonderful children caught the flu during this week of Spring Break…so it’s been an interesting week to say the least.

I wanted to talk to you today about the scariest journey anyone will ever take in their life.
No, I’m not talking about a visit to a war torn country or a treacherous climb on Mount Everest.  No, this journey is something more common place, and yet so frightening that few people ever truly embark on it.  coin

There is the story of a rich young ruler in the bible and he goes to see Jesus.  The rich man is pretty confident that he is doing life the right way, and so he asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.  Jesus lists the ten commandments to this rich man, and the man insists that he has indeed lived a disciplined life and has kept those commands since he was a little boy.  Then Jesus says the scariest thing to him , despite keeping all of these laws and doing all the right things, “You still lack one thing…”  In the rich man’s case it was selling all of his possessions, giving it to the poor and following Jesus…

There is another story in the bible, this time from the old testament.  A story about a guy named Abram.  His story is in the first book of the bible, and in chapter twelve God calls Abram to participate in the scariest journey of his life.  God says to him, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1) 
God called Abram from what was known into what was unknown.
God called this man from the familiar into the unfamiliar.

The scariest journey we will ever go on doesn’t happen in the deepest darkest jungles in some remote country in the world, instead it happens when we say yes to God’s calling into the unfamiliar.  The rich man was called out into it and he said “no” because he didn’t want to leave the comforts of a lavished lifestyle and what was familiar.  Abram left and God promised that he would be the father of mighty nation.  Both men were rich, yet one man said yes, while the other walked away.

For you and for me, God calls to us to leave the familiar and follow Him into the unknown.  This is a scary calling.  This calling could take us away from the things we feel comfortable with.  God’s calling moves us into action.  Our response determines this path.  And you see, the Holy Spirit wants to work in our lives.  He wants to move us from where we are right now into a deeper relationship with Him.  It’s like going on a journey and coming to a train station right in the middle of the journey and saying to God, I’m just going to stop right here…it’s kind of nice right here…I think I’ll just stay here.  Yet God knows that there is something better in store for us if we just continue on this journey even though we might not know how long we have travel and what we might see along the way…but He knows that this little comfortable stations along the way isn’t the destination…He’s got something better in mind for us.  In a way, we often tell God that we know better and that where we are right now is good enough, when in fact God has something even better for us in mind if we only trust Him to lead us out into the unfamiliar.

Abram trust and God led Him…Abram wasn’t always perfect and he did make mistakes along the way, but we left the familiar and embraced the scariest journey because of his faith in God.
So let me ask you today, where are you on this journey? path
Are you where God has called you to be, or are you at some sort of midway station along the journey enjoying the comfort and familiarity?  If we can admit that the Holy Spirit has more and expects more from us, then perhaps it’s time to move into the unknown.  Perhaps God is calling us into a deeper faith that requires us to take a step out of our comfort zones…and perhaps one step turns into twenty and twenty turns into a hundred and then we just keep traveling out into the unknown.

I love that song Oceans…admittedly it has been played out a bit on Christian radio, but in the bridge or refrain part of the song it it says, “Spirit lead me where my faith is without borders, let me walk upon the waters where ever you make call me…”  This is a very scary place to be – to leave the familiar and embrace the unfamiliar.  To stop living the status quo and to start living an all-in kind of life for the Lord regardless of what other people think or regardless of where this takes you.  This could take you away from your present church or ministry.  This calling could take you away from your families and your current job…this calling could make you reevaluate your entire life.  That’s why this is the scariest journey to ever embark on…but I believe this will be the most rewarding one of our lives.  So let me ask you, are you prepared to move if God asks you to?  Are you prepared to take that leap into the unknown if that’s what it takes?  Are you okay with stepping out into the unknown because you trust in a God who is known?  waters

It starts with saying “yes” to God regardless of where that yes will take you.
That my dear fellow Ponderers is the scariest journey for us to take…
God bless you today!

Music used – Oceans (Hillsong). 

Quantifying God In Worship

Check out our latest “PonderCast” here:

How do we appropriately quantify God in our worship?
What does that look like?
How does that feel?

<<A transcript of today’s Pondercast is listed below:

I wonder sometimes whether or not we put limits on God in how we worship, within the structures of our worship?  Jesus states over and over again that He is present with us everywhere, yet almost always we ask Him to just show up in our services, well…what about our service in every day life?  Do we expect Him to show up there?  Is this a part of our relationship to Him?  Do we attempt to say to God, “You stay over here in this church, I’ll see you on Sundays…” and then we walk away?  I mean is God really honored in our lives when we do that?

It’s like having a relationship with somebody but never introducing that person who means so much to you to anyone else, including your parents and friends.  But instead you say to that girl friend or boy friend, you stay over here and I’ll come back and visit you.  I mean does that make any sense at all?  Do you think that kind of relationship is healthy let alone will it last?  NO… So why do we attempt to do that with God?

Something else that kind of bugs me is how we actually worship on Sundays.
Have you ever gone into some of those old cathedrals?  I mean they are immense structures, some have taken over a hundred years or more to build, and as you walk into these massive doors you look up and you see this vaulted ceiling which juts up hundreds of feet, and there’s stained glass everywhere and the colors are vibrant and the gold is shining in the opaqued windows.  Usually the first words upon seeing this sight for the first time is “WOW!”  And perhaps your jaw hits the ground and you have to pick it back up…and there’s sort of embarrassing scrapping noise…and everyone turns to look at the newbie in the back that just yelled “Wow” in a very sacred space…

The builders of these monoliths that are cathedrals knew what they were doing.  They wanted the worshiper to  catch a slight glimpse of heaven as they entered, or better yet what would be waiting for them when they eventually entered eternity.  God’s glory was to shine.

Now despite all of the rituals and things one might get stuck on when going to a denomination like this, I have to wonder, within the context of my denomination – have we sort of lost that glory of God in our very practical worship halls?  Does it matter?  Or is this a thing of the past and we shouldn’t worry with it at all?  But I would counter that with – are we missing out on something because of it?   Are we inadvertently attempting to quantify who God is within our timed out and perfect bulletins and services on Sunday mornings?

I’m not saying that any of the types of worship formats are wrong, but have we left the mystery of God and the awe of God behind?  Have we exchanged the imported marble and the gold for cheap dollar knock-offs?  You see when Solomon built the temple of God, no expense was spared.  It was built to strict specifications and there was no skimping on any of it.

I must be careful today as I say this because it truly is not about how ostentatious and grandiose your worship hall is or isn’t, it is first and foremost a deep matter of the heart of the worshiper.  How we approach worship in and out of church matters.  How we come to the Almighty in and out of church matters.  How we quantify or leave a mystery about God matters.  God doesn’t reside in a box that is our church buildings.  God is present everywhere with us.

So let me ask you today, How is your heart?
What matters to you most about worshiping God?  How your church is perceived or how you are perceived by God in or out of true adoration and worship?  Does it matter to you how you present yourself?  Do you offer the most expensive side of you or are you offering the cheap dollar store knock-off leftovers?

God is some much greater and bigger than we ever give Him credit for…and I think it’s about time we recognize this in our hearts and minds.  It begins with you and me!  What are you going to do about it?

The PonderCast – “Fear Of Failure”

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Do you struggle with this fear of failure in your life? Check out this pondercast today, find some encouragement and let’s ponder this together! Also please subscribe, and share your ponderings with us! We want to hear from you!!

If you have something that you’ve been mulling over and pondering for a while, please let us know and we’ll attempt to ponder it here with you on a future episode!

Thank you for tuning in today!

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The PonderCast – “Fear of Failure”

The PonderCast Is On iTunes!

Hey everybody,
I just wanted you to know that you can stay up to date on our PonderCast by checking and subscribing to our Podcast on iTunes!  It is available for free of course and is just another great way to stay connected.  Check it out today and stay tuned for more great content!

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PonderCast – “Letting Go”

Do Not Worry (Matthew 6:25-34)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Click Here to listen to today’s PonderCast: “Letting GO” 

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