Day 165 of Russia’s war with Ukraine. Day 65 of America’s deadly summer (I started this count from June 1). Click on either count for an update to the wars that are gripping this world: the war in Eastern Europe and the war within our own streets. Today we are also keeping an eye on the quickly developing situation in the Pacific as china begins live-fire military exercises around the waters of Taiwan, taking a play from russia’s pre-invasion playbook.
Despite the world being on fire, I had a necessary return to the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. It began this weekend, as I followed the formula I laid out three years ago when I wrote “Common Sense REBORN.” In that short essay, I stated that the formula to plug into the Holy Spirit was that you had to find a place to serve once a week, a place to worship, a place to pray to connect to God, and to read the ENTIRE Bible. Well, this past Saturday was our home church’s Serve Day, and we volunteered with our church’s food ministry and Latin Outreach to distribute back-packs and about a week’s worth of food to nearly fifty families living in an impoverished mobile home park. It was an incredibly hot, incredibly refreshing day, and we were done by noon. We made new contacts within our church body, saw the joy and gratitude in many families’ eyes, and then spent the rest of the day as a family, demonstrating to our children our commitment to our community and one another.
Then Sunday we served at our church in the children’s ministry, our weekly reminder of the good and innocence of each life God has created. We stayed for the second service, an EPIC end to the summer’s “At The Movie” series. I really wish I could share the sermon with you, as our Lead Pastor spoke biblical truth from Marvel’s “Infinity War” and “Endgame”, but due to copyright laws, our church cannot share or stream the services that splice in clips from movies. Just trust me when I state that it was an incredible sermon. My soul was refreshed and recharged. And I was reminded of the simplicity of the formula for living a good life: Scripture, Surrender, Servitude. Love God, Love People. Read the Bible, find a place to volunteer to give back, and find your church to worship in. I thought this was all I needed to dive back into our return to educating ourselves, developing our minds and bodies now that the summer of fun was over, but God had one more treat in store for my family and me.
Last night our church returned to a Wednesday night service for the first time since COVID forced them to go online for months and slowly fight for the church body to return to in-person service. Compassion Christian is beginning a “First Wednesday” worship experience, a free concert from our amazing worship team. I can not stress to you enough how much I needed that experience last night. I honestly did not even know how much I needed it until I was lost in the moment. As any one who has been following this blog for a while knows, music is the love language of my soul. I always have music playing. It drives my family crazy, it’s why I am always sharing a song on each of these posts. Well, there is nothing better than live music, when you feel the bounding of the drums, the strum of each guitar string, and the room shaking from blessed souls that have the musical talent to belt out words of worship. Our worship team did phenomenal, and it shook all the worldly inhibitions off me, as I slowly went from just clapping to the beat, to opening my hands at my sides, to lifting my hands high, and finally, in a climactic conclusion to the concert, I had my son in my arms as we bounced to a beat to a brand new song I had never heard before, but instantly fell in love with. The joy in my son’s face as we jumped around to the rhythm of praise and glorious grace, along with the majority of the church body that stayed til the band finally called a wrap, his face held a joy that lit up my soul. The look on his face was part “I think my dad is crazy”, part “my dad’s dancing just like me!”, and part “look at all these crazy people bouncing around.”
I know I have written about this many times. I published the short essay “Common Sense REBORN” in the hopes to convince many of the Truth: there is pure joy in the Light. Break away from the misery of popular culture and the binds of this world. Plug yourself into the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ, and let the Holy Spirit guide you and bless your life. Read the Bible, study the Truth in the Gospel, surrender to being a servant to Christ, and find a church whose worship looks like the members of the song I am sharing below.
This song slipped under the radar for me. It has been out for over a year. Our worship team crushed it last night, playing the chorus over and over and then electrifying the crowd during the amble “get up, get up, get up. Get up out of that grave”. I had no idea who originally wrote the song until I got to my car and “searched it up” (as my daughter calls it), and I found it no surprise that this fun, energetic track was from Maverick City Music, with help from the team at UPPERROOM. I have a bunch of songs to share with y’all tomorrow, but for today, click on this video below and know, this was how our whole church body looked yesterday, dancing with pure joy in our love for God. This is what Church should look like, worshiping and dancing to God as if you were the only person in the room.