The More I Seek You

Heard this song at my small group meeting on Monday. Actually, I like the version they played better than this one, since they played it with guitars, and a bongo, and they played it at a little faster tempo. Plus they used multiple voices. I was scheduled to lead worship this week at work, and I was trying to figure out what songs we should do. This was the first time I had ever heard the song, but the song moved me so much, I thought “we gotta do it!” This feeling was confirmed by my partner, since when I told her about the song, she was like, “I love that song!”

Unfortunately, this is the best version I can find on youtube:

I want to feel God’s heart beat. Previously I would say, “I want to see God’s face,” but I like the heart beat idea better. While I still want to see God’s face, I think it would be even more amazing to feel his heart beat. I think even demons could see God’s face – and then be thrown into hell. But to hear God’s heart beat means to be up close next to him, laying on his chest the way a child does to his Father.  I think only God’s children get to be that close to him.

Forgotten God

Did we, the 21st century church in America, forget God the Father? No. Generally speaking, I think the church hasn’t forgotten God the Father at all. What about God the Son? No, I think we remember God the Son too. Which God did we forget then? Oh, yeah. That’s right. That third one. That Spirity one. That supernatural one. The Holy Spirit.

 

Having read the Scriptures outside the context of contemporary church culture, you would be convinced that the Holy Spirit is as essential to a believer’s existence as air is to staying alive. You would know that the Spirit led the first Christians to do unexplainable things, to live lives that didn’t make sense to the culture around them, and ultimately to spread the story of God’s grace around the world. There is a big gap between what we read in Scripture about the Holy Spirit and how most believers and churches operate today. In many modern churches, you would be stunned by the apparent absence of the Spirit in any manifest way. And this, I believe, is the crux of the problem.

Francis Chan, Forgotten God

 

The previous quote sums up my feelings over the past couple of months. While the all believers are given the Holy Spirit when they accept Christ, many Christians these days do not utilize very well the gifts of the Spirit. Why? Because most churches don’t teach the congregations how to utilize the gifts of the Spirit. I’ve long been wanting to post something about what the Holy Spirit has been showing me these past couple months, I just haven’t known where to start. Hopefully, soon, I’ll be able to write more about it. I will say this though: my life will never be the same. The Holy Spirit is powerful. The Holy Spirit is in us (believers.) And the Holy Spirit is offering us empowerment so that we would glorify Him in incredible, impossible, supernatural ways.

Why?

You know how kids like to ask “why?” a lot? Sometimes they do it just to try and get on other peoples nerves.

Example:

Kid: “Why is the sky blue?”

Adult: “That’s just how it is.”

Kid: “Why?”

Adult: “Because it is.”

Kid: “Why?”

Adult: “Don’t ask why.”

Kid: “Why?”

Adult: “Because I said so.”

Kid: “Why?”

Adult: “Because it’s annoying.”

Kid: “Why?”

Adult: “Because it just is.”

Kid: “Why?”

Adult: “…”

 

So today two of the fourth-grade girls were doing this to me. However, this one was a bit interesting.

Kids: “Do you have a girlfriend?”

Me: “No.”

Kids: “Why?”

Me: “Because God doesn’t want me to.”

Kids: “Why?”

Me: “Because God wants me to focus on Him right now.”

Kids: “Why?”

Me: “Because He has a lot of work for me to do right now and He’s growing me and teaching me new things.”

Kids: “Why?”

Me: “So I can better serve Him.”

Kids: “Why?”

Me: “Because God saved me and now I seek to serve Him.”

Kids: “Why?”

Me: “Because He loves me, and He said that those who love Him will obey his commands, and one of his commands is to serve Him.”

Kids: “Why?”

Me: “So that other people who don’t know about Jesus can learn about Him.”

Kids: “Why?”

Me: “So that they can be saved and go to heaven.”

Kids: “Why?”

Me: “Because God loves us so much he gave his only Son to die for us, so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Kids: “Why?”

Me: “Because he loves us.”

Kids: “Why?”

Me: “I don’t know. He just does.”

I’d say it went rather well. A good Bible lesson came out of it. This is just an example of how God gives us so many opportunities to share our faith with those we serve.

Nice Guys Finish First

There was a second grade boy who we’ll call “Ty.” He was a nice kid. Quiet, and got along well with most of the other kids.

One day during study hall, the kids were being loud. I told them that the next person I have to ask to be quiet would get put in time-out during play time.

Ty was talking, so I told him he has time-out.

I was helping a student with their homework when Alice came up to me.

“Ty’s crying,” she said.

“Ty’s a good boy,” added Mary Ann.

Ty, who usually doesn’t get in trouble, was talking at the wrong time. I could tell he felt really bad about it. The girls were defending him to me, as if they were the defense attorneys, and I was the judge.

The sentence I gave him was light; he didn’t have to stay in time-out for very long.

You know, they say nice guys finish last. But when you’re a nice guy, the nice girls stick up for you.

One day the kids were sitting around me during study hall.

“Mr. Robert,” said Alice. “You’re so nice. Isn’t he nice? You’re the nicest leader.” she said to the other girls.

“Yeah, you’re SOOO nice,” said Mary Ann. The other girls agreed.

“I’m not nice,” I said.

“Yes you are!” said Mary Ann, laughing as if it was silly for me to even claim not to be nice.

“I’m not supposed to be nice to you kids. I’m supposed to be mean. It’s part of my job. My boss tells me to be mean.”

“…Really!?” said Mary Ann.

Yes, it’s true. My boss tells us to be mean to the kids. Not abusively mean or anything, but the point is he doesn’t want us to be so nice to them that they don’t listen to us or take us seriously. We’re there to be their leader, not their friend.

It’s a fine line trying to be an authority figure to kids, while at the same time not being overly-harsh on them. But the more you work with kids, the better you get at it.

I think Mary Ann got the picture, because when the other girls were still talking about me being nice, Mary Ann warned them. “Don’t tell him he’s nice! If you tell him he’s nice, he has to be meaner to us!”

“Really!?” said the other girls.

“Yeah! His boss said he has to be mean!” said Mary Ann.

A little later, Mary Ann came up to me and handed me a note. It said, “You are very mean.”

“Thanks, Mary Ann,” I said. She smiled.

“Isn’t he mean?” she said to the other girls.

“Yeah,” said Alice. “He’s SOOO mean.”

The Magic Closet

At work we have a ball closet where we keep the playground equipment. There was a second-grader who we’ll call “DJ.” He’s a unique kid with a great imagination.

“Woah,” said DJ when he saw the closet. “What’s this!?” he said, as if he were gazing into some cool, mystical place. He hopped inside, and looked around in awe.

“It’s a magic closet,” I said.

“REALLY!?” he asked.

“No,” said my coworker. “Now get out of the closet.”

One day Mary Ann, DJ, and another second grader had accompanied me to the ball closet as I returned the equipment. They were again fascinated by this simple closet. They hopped in, exploring it as if it were some sort of hidden cave holding long lost treasures.

“I want to see how dark it is inside the closet with the door closed!” said Mary Ann.

“Yeah!” added DJ.

“Can you shut the door on us?” they asked.

“Yeah! Shut the door! Shut the door!”

I shut the door on them.

“Okay. Bye guys. See you tomorrow,” I said, pretending as if I were leaving them in there.

“Woah, it’s dark in here,” they said. “Okay. You can open the door now.”

I remained silent, hoping to trick them into thinking that I left them stuck in there. I waited a little while.

“Mr. Robert, you can open the door now,” they said from inside the closet.

I waited silently.

“Mr. Robert, we know you’re there.”

I couldn’t fool them. They know I would never leave them. Nevertheless, I think they were glad when I opened the door for them. As I held the door for the kids Mary Ann hopped out, and hugged me from behind the way she so often does.

What looks like a simple, ordinary closet to adults, looks like a fascinating place to kids.

 

What adults see:

 

What kids see: