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I'm a stay-at-home Dad suffering from Fibromyalgia. I homeschool my daughter and lead worship at my church. I'm also a gamer and a geek and proud of it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Attitude Check

     So, my wife and I decided we would start going to the gym on a regular basis starting this Monday. I went to bed the night before apprehensive but excited to get started getting in shape. Then morning came and the voices in my head screamed that there was no way they were letting my body out of bed.

     Mornings are quite frankly the bane of my existence. I have never been a morning person. (Waking up early for Saturday morning cartoons as a kid  doesn't count.) Every morning my alarm goes off at 7:14 am, at which point I hi t snooze repeatedly until 7:30 at which point I pray read a devotional and, most days, I fall back to sleep until at least 9:30. I then have to get up to homeschool but truth be told if I didn't have to get up I wouldn't.

     I know that sounds terribly lazy, but with FMS some days it takes all I got to escape the comfort of bed. With that said I actually dragged myself out of bed around 8 am and headed off to the gym with the wife. Victory!

     This whole thing got me thinking that often we struggle to worship God with our lives because life is just tough. We often equate worship with music, thinking that if I sing the worship songs I don't like or when I'm not in the mood, I have somehow given a sacrifice of praise, but it is so much more than that. Worship is more than a song, it's our service we give to God.

     Sometimes it is very hard to worship him, to serve him, especially when nothing seems to be going our way. When we are in pain, either physical or emotional, it is very difficult to move our focus off of ourselves and onto anyone else. Also sometimes we just feel drained, like we just couldn't do one more thing, but we feel the Spirit nudging us to volunteer for that special project or to fill-in in Sunday School when someone is sick.

     Dragging myself out of bed to head to the gym was a chore, but it was good for me. And guess what I'm going to go again tomorrow. I can't guarantee I won't complain about it, but I'm going to go, and eventually it will become a habit and the complaining will stop. The Bible tells us to do everything without grumbling and complaining and often I beat myself up over my poor attitude. My experience at the gym has help me to realize that even if I feel discourage that I'm not excused from serving my God. And even if I grumble and complain God still sees my willingness to worship him and to serve him. And just like going to the gym, eventually the grumbling and complaining will stop and I'll make it less of a chore and more of a habit to worship Him in all that I do.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Resonate

resonate: to produce or exhibit resonance

resonance: a sound or vibration produced in one object that is caused by the sound or vibration produced in another

There is an awesome song by Sonicflood called Resonate (listen to it here) that started me thinking about God and his glory. I have often heard it said that we are here to reflect God's glory. I find that analogy to be pretty effective in communicating multiple spiritual truths, i.e we have no glory of our own and it all comes from God. It really is a great analogy, but after hearing the above mentioned song I started to wonder if reflection falls a little short.

Let me back up a second and explain how I got there.

Again, we have always heard it said that we are to reflect God's glory, to reflect Christ and his mercy, to reflect God's love. And again, I think those are great analogies. For the longest time I was satisfied with reflection after all I don't want people to see me but to see Christ reflected in me. (How many of you have prayed similar prayers?) And again there is nothing wrong with that, or is there?

You see a while back someone recommended a great book called Music & Ministry: A Biblical Counterpoint by Calvin M. Johansson. While I admit that I don't completely agree with all of his points, there was one thing he spoke about that stood out to me, "Humble Exhaltedness."

What's that?

Simply put it is being humble with out being self-deprecating. It is recognizing our gifts and talents as given to us by God and not apologizing for using them and being good at using them. It's not feeling guilty for being a talented musician and/or singer simply because it makes others jealous.

And why is that?

God gave us those gifts, talents, skill, and shear mental acumen to bring him glory. It makes God happy when we use the gifts he gave us for the purpose he gave them to us. And, guess what, We can be happy about it with God too.

So, that being said, let's get back to the idea of reflection. When a mirror reflects something it shows you an image of that thing. The less imperfections in the mirror the more accurate the image that is reflected. So if we are to be mirrors so we can reflect God's image, i.e His glory, then we need to remove anything that could distort or distract from the image that is being reflected. On the surface this sounds reasonable, but there is one very huge problem with this.

The unspoken rule that goes along with this is that we must stifle our gifts and talents so they don't distract from the reflection. We are made to feel guilty for taking joy in using our God given gifts and made to feel guilty for being prideful and even more so for not realizing we were being prideful. So instead we either downplay our gifts and talents, or worse yet we hide them and never develop the God given gifts with which we have been born. In some ways this is even worse than pride as we are denying the very tools God has given us to give Him glory.

So what do we do?

We resonate.

I started this article with a definition of resonance, but how about an example.

If I strike a tuning fork it will produce a single note or frequency. If I hold that tuning fork close to the strings of a guitar, the string that is tuned to the same note will start to vibrate as well and produce the same note. It won't sound exactly like the tuning fork but it will be the same note. Take that same tuning fork over to a piano and the same thing will happen. Again it won't sound like the tuning fork, or even the guitar from earlier but it will be the same note. That in a nut shell is resonance.

Now think of God as the tuning fork and yourself as the guitar and I'll be the piano. when we resonate with God we will both make the same note but using our own unique sound. In music we call the unique sound an instrument or voice makes its timbre (pronounced tamber).

Just as each instrument has it's own timbre or unique sound, so to do we each have our own unique gifts and talent, our own timbre if you will. And when we allow our selves to resonate God's glory instead of reflecting it we will each reproduce God's glory in our own unique way. And we can rejoice in each other's gifts and talents as they combine, to take the music analogy a little farther, into a grand symphony composed of many different instruments each playing their own parts in order to show forth the infinite complexity of God's glory.

So my challenge to you? Stop reflecting and start resonating, and if you see someone resonating God's glory keep encouraging them and don't let them downplay the importance of the gifts God has given them.