This Sunday at Rivers of Joy church our pastor preached a bit on what it means to worship "in Spirit and in truth."
In John 4:23-24 Jesus says:
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
Our pastor spoke on how often as Christians we confuse worshiping in truth with the idea of worshiping "honestly." Worshiping honestly meaning that we come to God focused on our position, getting "honest" with God by confessing our sins before Him. For example, we come to church and as we sing praise to God we begin to recite in our minds our long list of sins and shortcomings asking for forgiveness and thanking God for his forgiveness. This might be what we think it means to worship in truth... being honest. I don't really think there is anything wrong with confessing our sins to God but our pastor had something to say about this.
His point was that worshiping "in truth" has nothing to do with getting honest about our position before God. God knows our position but rather he is looking for worshipers who will declare the truth about God. That as we worship God we are basically declaring what we know about God. I don't think I am doing the sermon justice but it did strike me how often Christians are focused on our relationship with God and our current situation or spiritual maturity, rather than just being focused on who Jesus Christ is and declaring that.
So if that is what it means to be a worshiper of Jesus, then that is basically what it means to be a Christian... someone who declares who Jesus is in truth and with the agreement of the holy Spirit who lives inside us.
If I haven't told you lately who Jesus is, then I'm not much of a worshiper but I know that every Sunday we are very sincerely declaring that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God who loves man so much that he came to die and conquer death so that we can live. Because of Jesus we have forgiveness of sins and can worship the Father.
In the process of declaring this truth every Sunday and studying God's word, I fall more in love with Jesus. For those of you who don't worship Jesus, well, you are missing out. I'm not kidding when I say that declaring that Jesus is God actually infuses life. I am planted by a river of life. I love to declare the truth that JESUS SAVES and I pray that God would help me each day to worship him in spirit and in truth.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
So in case you got behind on the blog, after lots of quotations and and discussion we have decided to build our house from scratch on another part of the property. Short version is that it will actually cost less in the long run and we can build it how we want it rather than being restricted by adding to a building that was half finished. So that meant that we had a half built building that was unused on the property. We met with one ACTION Zambia's board members who is the director of AWANA Zambia about a long term partnership with Ciyanjano as a venue for kids camps and leadership training. One of the major things that our campground area was missing was teaching space that was out of the sun and or rain. So Ciyanjano is now developing this unused house into to classrooms to help us better serve churches and other groups that need teaching space!! We are so excited about this!!
Over the last few weeks we've been cleaning out the team house at Ciyanjano. It was in an embarrassing state! However painted this kitchen before left big white spots where the yellow never came together. In their defense, it's not like it's super bright in there. But some heavy duty cleaning and some paint and it's looking (and smelling) quite nice!
Friday, June 3, 2011
One of the projects going right now at Ciyanjano is a hammer mill or "chigayo." A chigayo is mill where people can bring their maize and have it milled into mealie meal, the staple food here that when cooked is called nsima. This is awesome for a number of reasons. First it provides a service to the community. Some people were walking as far as 7km to the next closest chigayo. We have fair to low prices and people in Kasupe are excited to have a place close by. Also the chigayo is a way that Camp Ciyanjano can become more sustainable. It provides a regular and steady income to the ministry that can help us pay all of our national workers' salaries and help pay for maintenance of the property. It's a great place to hang out too. Children are often the ones bring maize for milling. You'll see little tiny kids with 50lbs of maize on their heads headed to the chigayo everyday. While there they play with each other and socialize. We had our opening day a few weeks ago and offered free milling all day. It was a lot of sun to play with the kids that came just to watch.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
So we knew there might be snakes at Ciyanjano. But we weren't sure how many or what kind. But last week I saw Jalios Sakala throwing rocks at the side of the team house and I thought, "Uh, oh, Sakala must be going mad!" I ran out and shouted, "What's the problem over there?" He shouted back, "BIG SNAKE!" The preferred method of snake killing is stoning. You get to keep your distance from a potentially venomous snake and it's like going to the carnival, but instead of throwing balls at weighted bottles, you throw jagged rocks at 6ft spitting cobras. Anyway, I ran over started throwing rocks too. The snake started bolting down the hill headed for heavy brush so I picked up a huge stone from our driveway and chasing after it I threw it on it's back, pinning it to the ground. It turned towards us and stood up, flared its hood and spat venom at us. Which made it easy to identify as a spitting cobra. Finally after a dozen more rocks we chopped the head off with a hoe. I took the dead snake to our hut and had a sober talk with the kids about cobras. Then the day before yesterday Joe and Richard killed another cobra while I looked on with a large stick in case he came out of his hole where they were chopping with a pick axe. This one was dead when we got it out of the ground. Killing two cobras in a week and one of them only 100 ft from my front door is disturbing. So we are on a snake killing program right now. We burned the pit where they love to live. Then we had a bulldozer level the pits. Normally cobras run in mated pairs so we're hoping we got a pair and not two out of four. Pray for a snake free month of June!