Stay in the presence of God

I love the way you worship, I told him.
Because I did.
I enjoyed the freedom he had
to raise his hands
shout his praise
demonstrate his love of God Almighty.

I get embarrassed, I told him.
Because I do.
I worry about what others might think
if they saw me with raised hands
speaking out
demonstrating my love.

I love the way you worship, I told him.
But … How?
How do you dismiss
what others might think
what others might say
how they might react to your free expression?

He said:
Stay in the presence of God.

When your mind wanders
Stay in the presence of God.

When your heart questions
Stay in the presence of God.

When your spirit darkens
Stay in the presence of God.

When your strength fails
Stay in the presence of God.

Stay.
Where you are.
Where God is.
Hovering over you
A covering over you
Protecting you
flames will not burn you
waters will not overwhelm you.

Stay and worship.

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Toss the Leftovers

Remember that Thanksgiving when you shoved 17 plastic containers of leftovers in the frig,
fitted them into every crevice,
pressing the sandwich-bag filled with peas and pearled onions into the very back corner,
wedged behind the sweet potatoes and the sliced ham you forgot you had?

Remember when everything suddenly went dim
because you had completely obscured the single 40 watt bulb that was your sole source of light?

Yeah, me too.
I think we are in one of those times.

Toss those leftovers and let that light shine.

No telling what we may find.
It might be good!

Will this be life-giving for me?

How can we tell if something is alive?

Biologists look for 5 traits, processes or functions as signs of life:

  • metabolism (consume, construct, destruct, excrete)
  • growth (learn, build, improve)
  • reproduction (spawn offspring or ideas)
  • responsiveness (sensitive, attentive, active)
  • movement (action, progress, liveliness)

These are the characteristics of life — the life of anything.

That’s cool, because I can ask, how does my group or organization fare in this test?

  • Does it have a healthy intake, constructing, evaluating and excreting the excess?
  • Is it growing in size, stature, knowledge and/or numbers?
  • Is it spawning new ideas, new energy, spin-offs, satellites?
  • Is it sensitive to the needs of community and responding effectively to those needs?
  • Is it doing things and taking action rather than standing by, waiting or watching?

If my organization is alive, I can dive in. If not, how can I enliven it? If I can’t, perhaps I should look elsewhere.

Even better, I can do the life-test with projects I am considering taking on or investing in.

  • Will it engage me in a healthy way and allow me to sift out and toss the excess?
  • Will it contribute to my growth? help me learn, improve or perform better?
  • Is it creative and something I will want to share and pass along?
  • Does it meet a real need in a way that is effective at reducing the need?
  • Will my active participation offer satisfaction, fulfillment and contentment?

Of every opportunity, I can ask: Is this alive for me?
… If maybe? Give it a try and test again.
… If no? Then it’s someone else’s project.

It’s worth the test. Our biology shows us how.¬†All things we choose to do should answer yes to this question: Is this life-giving for me? IMG_3355

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