The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

It’s 3:08 A.M…

…and I just got home from seeing the 12:01 showing of The Dark Knight with about three hundred other people…wow…intense…I’m tired!

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Trivinia Barber

posted July 18, 2008 at 9:34 am

Robert- you’re insane. That’s late for a movie! I hope you enjoyed it. I think we should get you a cape! I’m actually wondering if you can help me. I’m trying to recall a quote that you’ve used in past sermons that likens our prayer life to breathing. You had the congregation stand up, hold their breath and sit down when we needed to take a breath again. You said something about needing prayer like we need oxygen. And that when we decided to pray like it’s life or death, our prayer life will be as simple as breathing… (Obviously put much more eloquently). It was a wonderful visual and quite impactful. I’m trying to share it with a pastor, but I can’t quite remember your words. Could you help? Thanks so much. I hope you enjoyed vacation, and Dark Knight! Trivinia

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posted July 18, 2008 at 10:03 am

Hey Trivinia,
Good to hear from you and yes I agree it was too late for a movie…I’m paying the price this morning.
The prayer quote…”When God becomes like oxygen to us then prayer becomes as natural and automatic as breathing.”

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Nicole Walters

posted July 19, 2008 at 1:06 pm

So . . . what did you think?

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posted July 20, 2008 at 9:53 am

Your sermon reminded me of this:
A bit of what I’m reading from “Who Has Your Heart” by Emily Ryan. This particular bit really spoke to me today:
The mountains are where God dwells, and running to the mountains is like running to the arms of our Father. We need only to open our eyes to the One who draws us there. To the One who made the mountains.
The mountains provide a place of isolation, a place seperate and private from the pleasure of daily living. In the mountains you are free from sudden interruptions, distracting noises, and unwelcome guests.
There are no cell phones in the mountains. No email. No televisions.
Just you, and silence, and God.
Being alone and being still are sometimes not enough. In order to make the most of your mountain moments, you must realize that proximity to people is not the issue. The issue is your proximity to God. Having a true mountaintop experience does not involve your being alone with your thoughts; it involves your being alone with His thoughts. For it’s in the silence that God sometimes speaks the loudest.
The Lord promises us that if we go to the mountains, He will appear. The mountains are His dwelling place and it is there that He reveals Himself to us. “Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountian, the the place where you dwell” (Psalm 43:3)
We must run to the mountains, confident that the Lord will meet us there just as He promised.
We must pray
We must praise
“Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His holy mountain, for the Lord our God is Holy” Psalm 99:9
It’s easy to worship and praise and sing to God when all is going according to our masterplan. But genuine worship is not convenient worship – it’s constant worship.
Going to the mountains regularly will allow us to experience God’s provisions firsthand. I look ahead another two, five, or ten years of being single and think I don’t have what it takes to make it. And I’m right. I don’t have what it takes to make it through another summer filled with couples showers and June weddings. But I do have what it takes to make it through today because that’s how God provides. He provides what we need when we need it and as we need it.
When God calls us to the mountains, it’s because He wants us to see things from His point of view, and God always sees the big picture. He sees the forests when all we see are trees. He sees the city when all we see is traffic.
He sees eternity when all we see is today.
There’s nothing magical about meeting God at the mountains. The events leading up to our circumstances don’t undo themselves. The people who’ve wronged us don’t disappear. The outcome of our situation doesn’t change. However, when we meet our God at the mountains, something miraculous does happen. Suddenly, we’re no longer blinded by the details of our every day problems. The fog lifts and the horizon stretches and gradually we begin to see things from God’s perspective rather than from our own. Little by little, the big picture slowly comes into focus and our eyes adjust to discover a world and a play that is greater than we could have ever imagined.

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posted July 23, 2008 at 4:57 pm

I’ve been thinking about the comment you made recently regarding the number of people who were baptized in the past year. It was shocking that the number was only double digits. But what came to mind is that we don’t extend the opportunity for individuals to make a decision as often as we used to. I think it would be great if after every sermon we took time to allow individuals the opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior. It would only take just a few minutes but isn’t that what we as ambassadors are supposed to do? I would be willing to bet that there is someone each Sunday who is ‘dying’ to become a Christian but not sure of what they should do or say to make that happen. No one should leave service without having had the opportunity to accept Christ. Do you think we can start doing this on a more consistent basis?

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