Tag: worship

Jesus Says Be Reconciled

Jesus Says Be Reconciled

Encouragment, Jesus Says
Conflicts and wounded relationships are never fun. They gnaw at us and eat away our peace. These conflicts are like eating a super-hot pepper which taints all the good that follows. These wounds can even affect our praise and worship of God. Jesus says, “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” (Matthew 5:23–24, NASB95) Welcome to our Jesus Says series. A fourteen-week look at twenty-eight commands of Jesus found in the Gospels. Previous entries of this series are on our website. Today’s Jesus Says is be reconciled. There are two “twists” in Jesus command. The first is the s
You’re Surrounded

You’re Surrounded

Encouragment
It’s a staple of nearly every western and cop show. That moment when the bad guy is confronted and the hero declares something along the lines of “Get your hands up, you’re surrounded.” Sometimes that declaration is real, sometimes it’s a bluff. The idea is always the same. You can’t run. There’s no escape so just give up. With a slump of the shoulders, the situation is accepted and the bad guy gives up. We also see in the history of war the value or hopelessness of being surrounded. And generally, that is how the word surrounded is used in the Bible. An army surrounds a town. Enemies surround. The wicked surround. But there are three verses where being surrounded is comforting and empowering. Surrounded by Grace “But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for
Dale’s Rules for Life: Celebrate Everything (Even the Small Stuff)

Dale’s Rules for Life: Celebrate Everything (Even the Small Stuff)

Encouragment
I have these rules, 27 so far, this is number three. Celebrate everything (even the small stuff). Yeah! Fist bump time. Celebrations are important. They may mark milestone events - Birthdays (especially those that end in zero), weddings, important anniversaries, the birth of a child, a new job, retirement, graduation, or the completion of some large goal. Those are the huge celebrations. There are also the many moments of celebration when we stand, cheer, clap, dance, and generally make a fool of ourselves. Go Cubs! WooHoo! Notice the tagline for this rule - even the small stuff. That’s the part most people miss. The small stuff are the victories, blessings, accomplishments, and welcome surprises that cross our path each and every day. Granted, these celebrations are not as elaborate or
Colors of Christmas – Gold

Colors of Christmas – Gold

Christmas, Encouragment
Our final Color of Christmas is gold and its symbolism of value. We may not be paid in gold or use gold at the local store, but the idea of value remains regardless of the currency. We exchange something we have such as time, ability, and expertise for something of value which can then be exchanged for something desired. However, this activity of commerce and exchange is not the meaning of Christmas gold. For that, we must return to the story. Matthew records the journey of the magi and their search for a newborn king. Put aside for this article when they encountered Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in relation to the other events associated with Christmas. Matthew’s point is that in Israel, the Jewish homeland, foreigners with a strange language and religion recognized Jesus as king. Everyone e
David’s Bad Day Prayer – Psalm 86

David’s Bad Day Prayer – Psalm 86

Encouragment
This article is much longer than our normal Lambchow Article. It is an edited transcript of the sermon Dale presented at Vineyard Church Peoria on June 11th, 2017. Thank you VCP and Pastor Ben Hoerr for the opportunity. The audio can be listened to on their iTunes podcast or from their website - http://www.thevineyardchurchpeoria.org/2017/06/11/davids-bad-day-prayer/ We’ve all had bad days. One of my bad days happened early in my career as a computer networking consultant. The office machine company I worked for had recently launched a division aimed at this new opportunity of making PC’s talk to one another. There were two of us dedicated to growing that business in Peoria. One of our early calls was to a local Police Department. They had a particular kind of server, and we want
Walking Through 1st Peter – Work Matters

Walking Through 1st Peter – Work Matters

Encouragment
One of my first jobs outside of the family farm was laboring for a landscape contractor. It was a summer job between my Junior and Senior year of High School. Someone warned me that the boss could be difficult but that it was a good job. I would call it both enjoyable and difficult. He never yelled or anything but could wield a biting tongue if something was done wrong or we moved too slow. I was often on the receiving end of his worries about speed and was given the nickname turtle. I honestly didn’t think I was slower than my co-workers, it’s just the way he saw it. Welcome to the 13th installment of our Walk Through 1st Peter. We’re over half way through our journey and well into the meat of Peter’s instructions to his readers. Which also means that we’re delving deeply into things t
Walking Through 1st Peter #9, Living Stones

Walking Through 1st Peter #9, Living Stones

Encouragment
One a cold and rainy morning not so long ago we laid out where our new pole barn would set. We had marked it out earlier to get a feel for it, but this was the final decision. The crew was ready to go, there was no going back once they started.  The focus that morning was on the corners. It’s amazing how one little adjustment has large ramifications. Get the corners right and everything else falls into place.  Peter uses that same building principle in our next step on our walk through 1st Peter. Welcome to the ninth installment of our walk through 1st Peter. If you’re just joining us, previous articles can be found on our website – lambchow.com.  Peter writes, “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you
Christmas – Adoration

Christmas – Adoration

Christmas, Encouragment
Christmas gifts aren’t all their cracked up to be. We’ve all given or received gifts out of routine or tradition. Like the can of nuts that was hastily wrapped for some grab bag. Gifts can be given because they are expected,  because of manipulation or to manipulate, because of tradition, or given to express our true feelings of love, joy, and adoration. This advent season we’re looking at five words that express something about the Christmas story. Our first word was declaration and looked at the angelic announcements. The second word was the mystery and majesty of incarnation. This week we look at the word adoration and how it fits into the story of Christmas. Luke tells us that the shepherds left their flocks to search out the newborn in the stable. “So they came in a hurry and fo
The Soundtrack of Life

The Soundtrack of Life

Encouragment
Ever notice how filmmakers use music? Through the soundtrack, they telegraph feelings and provide glimpses into what may be just around the corner. Think of the movie Jaws and how the feeling of foreboding is enhanced by a thumping droning series of notes when the shark is near. Or consider the trumpet flourishes as the heroes celebrate victory in the original Star Wars and Tolkien’s Return of the King. If your life was a movie what soundtrack would be playing right now? Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16, NASB95) Now, in all fairness, the punctuation for this verse is difficult to t
Better Than Anything

Better Than Anything

Encouragment
Life can be nasty at times. Things come our way that seems unfair and undeserved. We read God’s promises and wonder what we did wrong. This is more than just having a bad day, we’re talking bad that seems to have no end. We feel buried under the rubble of despair, hopelessness, depression, sorrow, worry, grief, anger, and injustice. In those dark days, life seems to have little value. David of Goliath fame had those days too. God had promised David a kingdom. He had conquered and seen victories by the hand of God. He gained notoriety and prestige in the eyes of the people. The king’s son was his best friend and Jonathan knew that David would one day replace his father. Jealous whispers turned the king against David to the point of wanting him dead. Instead of taking the fight to the kin
Are You Satisfied?

Are You Satisfied?

Encouragment
I remember a phrase Grandpa Heinold said on occasion that puzzled me at first. Sometimes after a holiday meal, he’d push back a bit from the table and declare, “Now that was eatin’ high on the hog.” It was his way of saying that the meal was rich, satisfying, and special. Grandpa was a farmer back in the day when you truly lived off the land. They butchered their own meat along with preserving the produce from their garden for the coming winter. The leanest, tenderest, juiciest part of a hog is the loin, which is geographically “high on the hog.” That cut of meat was reserved for a special meal. Hence Grandpa’s meaning. We may have eaten ham, turkey, or beef, but because it was a satisfying and rich meal to Grandpa it was “high on the hog.” The Psalmist related this same kind of thought
The Soundtrack of Our Lives

The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Encouragment
Have you ever watched a movie and intentionally paid attention to the background music while the story is unfolding? Movie makers have learned that music unlocks emotions. They’ll use ominous tones to warn us when something bad might be just around the corner. We may hear a soulful violin to evoke sadness or a bright trumpet to indicate victory. The Psalms are like that, there are Psalms that touch our sadness, our fears, our anger, our hope, and our love for God. Consider the opening verses of Psalm 66, “Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; Sing the glory of His name; Make His praise glorious. Say to God, “How awesome are Your works! Because of the greatness of Your power Your enemies will give feigned obedience to You. “All the earth will worship You, And will sing praises to You