I have always enjoyed worship. In many ways, this is my favorite part of a church service, and sometimes I honestly wouldn’t mind skipping everything else in the meeting in favor of taking more time to sing, dance, pray, and express our love to God. While the Bible-reading part of me knows people need instruction and discipleship, not just experiencing the presence of God, I have personally left just about every church meeting going, “Man, I think we could’ve sung that chorus at least one more time.”
While I have always loved worship, at least since becoming a Christian, I have never really enjoyed leading worship. I’m just a mediocre guitar-player at best and rely more on consistent practice and simple music than on actual ability, and I have difficulty singing most songs (unless maybe it happens to be a cover of this version of Celine Dion‘s “My Heart Will Go On“). Plus, I hate being in the position of an entertainer and am not a natural encourager, two things that, like it or not, end up being a part of leading worship.
About a year ago, I moved to Romania and ended up being the only guitar-player who could make a consistent commitment to our Sunday meeting. (Considering I’m helping to plant the church, it’s probably a good thing I could make it consistently. LOL) And so–like it or not, prepared or not–I’m leading worship.
I’ve been reading through Numbers, and one of the things that has been striking my heart is the immense cost to worship. To be in relationship with God–the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, the jealous and burning fire, the consuming One–is a dangerous and costly thing.
Yes, Jesus’ blood has paid the price of our sins, and his act of redemption on the cross enables us to come into the presence of God, but still there is a cost to worship or it is not really worship. Worship is an act of giving, and so it necessitates a loss on the part of the worshiper. Now, this cost is negligible when compared to the ultimate glory we receive, the joy, peace, healing, love, and acceptance we find in the presence of God. But there is a cost.
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged bible study, cost, david, devotion, numbers, offering, ornan, pride, sacrifice, union with God, worship
Say “hello” to my new home, the pink one on the right. Despite being pink (inside and out) and small (every time I bump my head on the hanging light, I think of J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous beginning to “The Hobbit”: ”In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.”), it’s actually a nice place to live.
It’s definitely a small place, just a bedroom/living room, a very small kitchen, and a bathroom. There’s an old ceramic furnace that burns wood for heat; it’s called a soba in case you were curious. There’s no internet access but what I can manage to get on my phone. There’s no dishwasher, but I haven’t used one of those since cooking for Campus Life kids in my house two years ago. There’s no oven, but I do have a double-burner electric stove thing that works great for what I need. There’s no fridge, but I’ve been discovering just how little I need one. There’s no washing machine or dryer, but my neighbors have kindly offered to let me use their washing machine, and three laundry lines in front of the house get my clothes dry enough. It does have electricity, though, and plenty of hot water. And a few cockroaches I can’t seem to get rid of completely… :(
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged campus, church-plant, college, evangelism, moving, prayer, prayer answers, prayer letter, testimonies, university, witnessing
Tonight at Liberty Center, a couple Romanian anti-trafficking groups joined together to rent the theater and show the documentary Nefarious I: Merchant of Souls. I found out about it just this afternoon and had a bunch of things to do–I had a bunch of posters to put up and am in the middle of packing for my move tomorrow–but this is one movie I knew I had to see. (When I first heard about it two or three years ago, I knew I had to see it. But by the time it finally came near me, I had moved to Romania.)
My initial response was feeling overwhelmed, disgusted, hopeful, angry, helpless, hurt, guilty… all at the same time. It was a wild ride of emotions for sure as the documentary went all across the globe talking with all sorts of people, from former victims and traffickers to government officials and “johns.” The stories were heart-wrenching.
Humans are created as royalty, children of the greatest King, but look at what we do to each other….
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged film, human trafficking, justice, masturbation, merchant of souls, nefarious, pornography, reckless, safety, sex, sex industry, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, video, wisdom
Yesterday, we picked up a massive order of posters from FastPrinting–which, if you’re in Bucharest, is a great resource for truly fast printing, by the way. Having already spent a fortune on tape to put up other posters, Jessie thankfully found an awesome alternative: wheatpaste!
It’s sticky, cheap, and (best of all) TASTY!
Tomorrow’s the big test, though. We’ll be heading around by Politehnica University to put up the posters. With the rainy weather, we’ll really get to find out if wheatpaste is all it’s cracked up to be.
On the plus side, if the paste doesn’t work, we can always just eat it.
Anyhow, if you wanna make your own cheap and edible glue, you can find instructions for wheatpaste here at destructables.org. Have fun! And bon appetit!
(P.S. Make sure to add the cool flower/water mixture slowly to the hot water or it’ll end up really chunky like mine.)
As soon as I heard Sunny Tranca’s music, my heart went, “Oh, yeah! This is worship!” In Bucharest, it’s been hard to find good worship, free, expressive, heartfelt, passionate, clap-able and dance-able. The best we’ve found has been at Raul Vietii–who always seem to stop right when they get *almost* to the point of a real, free heart connection to God during worship–and Elim. And, of course, Piatra Vie! (No bias here. :D ) (And, actually, we’re a long ways from where we want to be… God, send us worshipers and musicians!)
I had begun to think Romanians just don’t understand what it means to worship passionately and freely.
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged alexandra luca, bucharest, bucuresti, chords, elim, filadelfia, free, freedom, guitar, music, numai prin harul tau, sorin nicolae, sunny tranca, video, worship