Monday, April 8, 2013


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Since I was a child I have loved fire. On the forty acres I grew up on, my brother and I built forts and every child-size mansion that was assembled would have in the center of it, a fire pit. With primitive tools, including one green folding boy scout shovel, we would scratch out  a hollowed place, in the clay ground. Then stones were gathered to form a ridge around the outer edge. It was my duty to look for kindling. Small twigs, branches and dry leaves. It was his job to gather the larger logs. And with the strike of one wooden match we would cup the flame near the dry leaves until the flicker began to lick up the fuel around it and ignite into a roaring flame. It's really a wonder that we didn't burn down our tree-laden playground.

My friends like to do a lot of traveling. On one of their trips they found themselves deep in the South looking for a church to visit on Sunday. They searched the phone book and randomly chose a place to attend. Dressed in their comfortable vacation clothes, they walked through the large ornate doors, just as the service was about to begin. Slipping quietly into the back row of the sanctuary, trying to settle in, unnoticed, they soon realized that they were the only whiter-than-white people in the large sanctuary. At that moment a precious woman tapped them on the shoulder and introduced herself. The music began to gain momentum when their new acquaintance grabbed my long-time friends arm and said, "Oh honey!" "Come with me.... we have to get closer to the flame!" 

With more than a bit of hesitant, they compliantly made their way to the front row following their new dancing friend. Coming from a conservative, 'don't-raise-your-hands-too high'...kind of church.... only added to the uneasiness of their current predicament. But soon the beautiful reverence, rhythm of instruments and words of worship pumped warm life through their veins and they were ushered into the presence of God. As they got over themselves, all inhibitions were melted, skin color forgotten and the experience fanned fresh embers of faith and worship in their lives.

I love it.
I really love IT!

It just delights my heart to think of their experience that morning!

And I wish I would have been there.

In fact, I wish we all would worship the Lord like, ' ...David, who wore a linen ephod, and danced before the LORD with all his might.' (emphasis mine)

Do you know that the ephod might have been just an apron?


Get that picture burned in your mind.

David was the King. 

And he may have been a King dancing with all his might in an apron.

And his wife wasn't happy about it at all. Read here?

Yet the Bible says that David "...was a man after God's own heart." In addition to that in the book of 1 Samuel alone there are at least three other references to the people who hung out with that king, ...singing, dancing and praising God. 

I hear people complain about the music in church all. the. time.

And this is what I have to say to me and to them: If our God is a consuming fire shouldn't we all be drawing close enough to get 2nd degree burns?

If we will fill stadiums to attend football games, dressed in appropriate cheering attire, with face paint and tailgate parties, while swaying and shouting with passion that comes from the depths of our soul, I think that the worship service should have a little fire to it as well. 

Don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting we wear aprons that reveal our underwear in church.

God is to be revered. He is not a God of chaos. But the God I serve does not speak in monotone. He is not moved by the motion of my yawning lips and emotionless singing. He is not sleeping in the pew (He is seated on the throne) and I don't think He wants us to be sleep walking either.

One phrase I've been hanging on to these weeks following Easter:

"Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road...?" Read here?

While we walk this life with Jesus something should be burning deep within us. 


A few things that flame the fire within me?

* My young-minded, older friends. Yes, you sweet Florence, Clara, Esther, and Pauline T....

* When evil is defeated and the underdog wins. 

* The day I first laid eyes on each grandchild. Fresh life. New miracles each one. Little embers fan life deep in my soul.

* Locking eyes in a burning silent moment with a friend who is losing his battle with cancer.

*Praying big bold prayers and knowing that Jesus hears them and might have half a mind to just answer them.

* Reading Ann Voskamps blog. With the music playing. Yes. 

* Encounters with homeless people. Read here?

* Or being with people who need some hope..

* Meeting young people who are on fire for Jesus. 

* The couple who retired in the USA and instead of living the comfortable American dream life, moved to Mexico to start an orphanage for street children. Yes. What they are doing scorches my soul deep.... like a branding iron sears through hair and hide. 

This girl. She wrote "Kisses From Katie" and she is living out Jesus in Uganda. Every time I read what she is doing, the flame ignites. 

* Testimonies of people who embrace the love of Jesus. Everyone has a story.  Hearing them does more than warm my heart.

* Watching children worship. { heart melting..}

* My church. Where precious spirit filled people use their God given gifts, to draw us into worship the King of all Kings. 

* Throwing my head back and dancing until the endorphin's kick in high. On. Jesus. Right. Now. And yes. It is playing loud.

It begins with the small pieces of kindling like earnest prayer, reading His words, and hanging out with a few people who will help build the flame of faith in your life.

And we need to live a life of worship. Not just show up on Sunday and expect to know what it looks like. 

Photo Credit

Photo Credit

Photo Credit

As a child I played with fire. Now I cup the flame that Jesus ignited in me.  Some of my friends, ...they know this little thing I say. "Do you want to sit with me? I like to be up front where I'm closer to the flame." Not to be drawing attention to myself, but to focus my attention on my burning-bush kind of God.  

Is your heart burning within you?

I hope it's more like a wildfire that can't be contained. Engulfing chaff and melting away dross in our lives. 

Keep the fire burning.

Because we all need some fresh hallelujahs friends.

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© Rhonda Quaney