Friday, March 18, 2011

Love Holes


 The septic tank needed attention.  Only problem – Dad could not remember precisely where the tank was buried in the backyard.  With a general idea, he took the shovel to the dirt…  not quite the right spot.  He moved over a bit and made another pile of red clay, missed again.    In close proximity, yet another heap of clay unearthed and laid carefully on the green grass. 

Sweat dripped in the afternoon heat.  Mom came out to see the beautifully trimmed lawn lumped upside down in mounds. “Joe, I’m sure it’s over there in the natural area. Dig over there.”  I wondered how my mother could be so certain of the tank’s location.

And so my father dug.  He dug because he loved and respected my mother, not because it made sense or because she was right.  He told us he was digging a love hole and that’s exactly what it was.  Just a little while later, he found the tank… close to where he started.

My dad taught me the life skill of digging love holes.  As you know, there’s something powerful in serving and honoring others above ourselves.  Breaking a sweat to let someone else know they are important.  Showing love, sacrificing our time when we could just move on with our plan. 

Of course, Jesus is the ultimate champion of digging love holes.  He’s done all manner of things to serve us and show us our worth.  And now it’s our turn to join him in our Father’s work.  Today’s a great day to dig a love hole.

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.


- Wendy Horvath

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Praise


Did you know that there are 8 different Hebrew meanings for the word “praise”? When we read the word praise in the  bible, we almost always picture the same thing. However, the different meanings of the word describe different physical expressions of things we can do to worship God. Although, we aren’t limited to these expressions, they are forms that we can put into a regular practice in our worship.

Consider the word praise like a diamond that has many facets. Each facet of the word “praise” is a unique picture of what worship can look like. If we try new things and expand the way we worship, we may end up seeing God in new ways and expanding the way we experience Him. It could very well reveal a new “facet” of God!

The word halal means to “boast, to brag about, to magnify, to be clamorously foolish.” The word shabach means “to address in a loud tone, to command, triumph, glory, shout.” Barak means “to kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration.” Karar is “to dance or whirl.” Tehilla is “to sing or laud.” Zamar means “to touch the strings”, referring to playing musical instruments. Yadah and towdah are both pictures of “extending your hands” in adoration. All these words were translated into one word in the scriptures, praise. 

As you read that list, you probably remember worshiping in one of these facets at one time or another. You may even have a few that you practice more than others. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time to try to worship in another way than you are used to. Maybe you could even do something that is uncomfortable for you!

Worship is a weapon that we have as believers to overcome discouragement and gain right perspective in every situation and circumstance. It’s a tool for “strengthening ourselves in the Lord” as David did in the Bible. Have you been discouraged or battling depression? Try to karar! Go ahead and start dancing and whirling before the Lord! Do you struggle with insecurity, worrying about what people think of you? Maybe it’s time to halal. Try being clamorously foolish in your adoration for God, boasting and bragging of His good works! If you need a reminder that God is with you, begin to shabach and declare His faithfulness and goodness! 

However you choose to worship God, worship Him with extravagance! He’s so worthy of praise!

- David Olinger