Rob Bell Interview…

I love to hear Rob Bell speak… he has a prophetic gift… a gift of wisdom! Saw this on my friend Matt’s blog and had to repost it here! this is from an interview with ‘the Wittenburg Door

DOOR: You talk a lot about storytelling—reclaiming the art of preaching away from the engineers and back to the artists.

BELL: Preaching is one of the original art forms, kind of the original guerrilla theatre. A sermon was an electric event; Martin Luther King Jr. changed the whole shape of American culture with a sermon. John Wesley out in a field in England, the Hebrew Prophets, (and) great movements like women’s rights were often birthed through preaching. In our unbelievably wired culture, nothing is more foolish than somebody in a room standing alone insisting that God has spoken. So it’s either brilliant or absolute foolishness. And I am open to both.
Originally, the word “sermon” meant you’d have no idea what was coming next. It was theological but also political and economical and obviously highly creative because if it didn’t engage, then you wouldn’t listen and you wouldn’t be provoked or challenged or comforted. So in some ways for me my life’s passion is to pursue this art form. Pump some electricity into it.

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worship naked (part one)

(below is the first part of hopefully many more of my thoughs on the subject of worship. these are all thoughts that I have randomly dwelt on, pondered or even jotted down over a period of time and actually still am pondering and jotting down. this would be one of those times. I hope to bring more of these types of writings as I have thought putting them all together in the form of a book of sorts entitled ‘worship naked’. this is the beginning of that effort. these writings are not necessarily in any order, per se, but more of how they naturally come out. this just happens to be one that I have been pondering most recently.)

(part one) – the struggle.

true worship comes from a place that is real. the reality of life is hard to deal with. when life hits you hard, you feel it’s blow and suffer the pain. life throws us some pretty hard punches, and quite often. there are different stages in our lives and struggle and suffering…to whatever extent…is a big part of it. It is in the midst of these times of struggle, where life is at it’s most real, that true worship can come. A lot of worship music is all about joy and happy times and celebration, which is all good…but often times, it is not reality. Reality is how do i really feel when things suck. It has to come from an honest place. I think that we cannot truly worship God in fullness until we have worshiped him in our pain and our struggle…it is then that the sacrifice of worship is truly a sacrifice. It is only then that we enter a place where our hearts are not directed by our circumstances or what is going on around us, but where our hearts are truly postured towards our Creator, despite what we see around us, what circumstance we find ourselves in or even what we desire. It is in the times we desire to go to God the least, that, when we do go to him, we enter true worship; worship that says…”life sucks for me right now, and yet, I will still praise You Lord!” David knew this worship. Just read the psalms that he wrote. He started many off speaking the truth of his situation… speaking of the intense hardships that he was going through. Take Psalm 69.

“Save me oh God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink to the miry depths where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.”

This is an intense time of crying out from an incredibly honest place. He literally says ‘where are you God…are you even there’ , yet even then he cries out for God to save him. Later on in verse ‘30’ he turns it around quite a bit saying

“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox… the poor will see and be glad…you who seek God may your hearts live! The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people. Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and all that move in them.”

This is quite a turn around from how David started out. I love how he eludes to the fact that an ox is no longer a pleasing sacrifice to God… this totally references that David’s sacrifice was turning to God in the midst of this incredible hardship…even though he felt he couldn’t even find God anymore…that God wasn’t even there!

This is the core of true, authentic worship. A place of honesty; a place of nakedness; a place that doesn’t hide or cover reality, but openly faces it and yet still turns to God, despite the doubt, despite the pain, despite the hardship. I guess this is how we can consider our struggles ‘pure joy’ as James speaks of in the new testament (James 1:2-4), because it takes us to a different level; a level of no longer letting our circumstance affect who we are and what we do, nor the posture of our heart!

jfci becomes Love

“Justice at its best is love correcting all that stands against love”
— Martin Luther King.

Justice For Children International has become Check out their new site…watch the video…and join to help raise awareness by raising your voice and help end child sex slavery. Check out the list of 146 things you can do to help. I like “write on all your paper money”…that’s a good one. Please, take a look and help make a difference!