I came across this blog from my friend Liz who co-founded The Sanctuary Centre – where world and worship meet. what a great slogan!
The blog is called “a lesson in sparrows” and it’s really encouraging and inspiring.
I like the closeness one can have with God.
We’ve too often made God so distant… and that’s not true…
As Martin Smith once wrote: “Sometimes You’re closer than my skin”
Isn’t it awesome how God can teach and remind us things even with everyday things like the common sparrow…
The bible can be a difficult book. But if you sit with it. If you ask God to reveal things to you. Truth is, He will. I sat with these 89 verses. And this is what i discovered about Numbers 7.
The whole passage can be found here
But the part that grabbed my attention was:
“13 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 14 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. 15 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering,16 and a male goat for a sin offering. 17 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs.”
That part, those EXACT words are repeated 12 times in the passage. I wondered about that. I would have just wrote it simply as in the author (writer’s) summary from verse 84:
“84 So this was the dedication offering brought by the leaders of Israel at the time the altar was anointed: twelve silver platters, twelve silver basins, and twelve gold incense containers. 85 Each silver platter weighed 3 1⁄4 pounds, and each silver basin weighed 1 3⁄4 pounds. The total weight of the silver was 60 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). 86 Each of the twelve gold containers that was filled with incense weighed four ounces (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). The total weight of the gold was three pounds.87 Twelve young bulls, twelve rams, and twelve one-year-old male lambs were donated for the burnt offerings, along with their prescribed grain offerings. Twelve male goats were brought for the sin offerings.88 Twenty-four bulls, sixty rams, sixty male goats, and sixty one-year-old male lambs were donated for the peace offerings. This was the dedication offering for the altar after it was anointed.”
But no… that’s not the case… the same offering, same specs, same weights is rewritten and mentioned 12 times in one passage. What is with that? What can we learn from this? After sitting with the passage. Praying about. Letting the Spirit lead my thoughts I came up with this. Take it or leave it:
- Maybe the repetition is there to help the readers and the leaders of each tribe (back, at the time of writing) to remember the instructions clearly. In repetition comes remembering?
- Maybe there is something in going through all 12 exact offerings related to our lives. You may feel you are in the “fifth offering” of your life? Don’t despair. Keep on keeping on. You need to get through the other seven. Maybe God wants to say… you need to do “the same things” for now. Keep at it. Don’t lose heart.
- God’s instruction is for everyone. 12 represents completeness. “Everyone has instruction from God” – God connects with all. Thing is, will you listen?
- What do the offerings themselves teach us about our worship today? We need an aspect of “sin offering” to our worship. In other words, we need to repent. say sorry to our Maker. Then the peace offering is interesting too. Are you peace with others? Jesus mentioned that too. “Go and be reconciled to your brother (sister) before you offer your gift at the altar.” Also, can we be at “peace with God” ? Because sometimes we may arrive at places where He is with “warring hearts.” Make amends with Him. relent to His grace.
- The burnt offering part – the aroma of the offering on the altar was to be a pleasing one to God. How is our worship? Does God see the posture of our heart and think: “yes, this person is for me. I see their dedication and love”
So those are my thoughts on Numbers 7. What do you think?
Sometimes a church service can go on for sooo looong…
How does one with ADD survive?
Do we really need to sing the bridge of Oceans over and over and over and over?
If songs are too long…
If minister is not capturing your attention…
Here are two simple tips to get you started:
1) Count the amount of chairs in the church building. That may kill sometime.
2) Watch a roaming toddler in church. To see them climbing over and under things, stumbling around with utter fascination is rather entertaining. (And who knows you may just learn something from that?) – Child like wonder… I believe they call it…
I love it when I get to lead and run an hour service.
For me there is a lot that can happen in that hour.
A big responsibility.
A time and place where people are reconciled.
Reconciled to God
Reconciled to others
Reconciled to themselves
(Paul spoke about that ministry of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5)
I don’t like to the “same old church sandwich”:
Nah, I like to allow people to express and connect in different and in creative ways…
Paul once said “and then the scales fell off my eyes”
Because a lot can happen in an hour…
I wrote this for my church pew notices… I thought the message in it… maybe be helpful for some… take it or leave it:
On Thursday night, our young adults group went to Taco Zulu (Florida Road) for a cell social and to celebrate the June birthdays of Callie and I.
I loved it. There were fourteen of us at the table. As we shared stories and pizzas and laughter this thought dawned on me:
We all carry different life experiences. We all have different understanding of who God is. We come with both mistakes and glories.
Yet in our complexity, the simple truth is that God loves us, and as the Zulu greeting suggests (Sawubona), He SEES us. So true!
And then I thought about when we gather here, each Sunday; we too are packed with different life stories and ideas and thoughts of God. Yet in this “set aside” place and time, our God will meet with us. How open are we to that truth and invitation?
So as we sing, hear a message, sip on tea with friends afterwards, may you meet with God.
To the fathers, Happy Father’s Day! Thank you for leading and caring for us. Thank you for your support and being there for us.
To the youth, Happy Youth Day! Please remember, you still have a VOICE. You are not only the church of tomorrow (as some may say)… you are the church of TODAY! We need your enthusiasm, we need your heart!
Live well, live inspired,
I have no tattoos.
However I guess these bangles serve that role.
Come rain or shine (just an expression) I always have these on my wrist.
They look cool together.
MORE so they all carry a story:
1) The colourful bead one. Simply one where proceeds went to protecting the rhino. We need to care for environment. Enough said. It’s a delicate beauty. Do u add to its destruction or its care? I hope to do that latter…
2) The thick one. Is from the Incubus show I went to in London. One of my favourite lyric’ed bands. This bangle was my motivation when I swam the midmar for the first time.
“If not now, when?”
Such a cool life motto. Go for it! Live is for taking on the challenges.
3) The thin black one use to have “the Sound” written on it. Reminds me of when I went to a worship conference thing in France. Was cool. Worship was in french.
Reminds me of diversity. Reminds me that among all the sounds in the world there is one that one that rings clear and is beautiful.
This is the Sound!
Have a good day fellow bloggers. And those who read my blog.
Why thank you…
This is not my picture.
But it does capture something of how I feel.
Last night I had this moment in church and just had to stop and embrace it
the flying adds darting around our church
the stunning flowers that hung from the ceiling
and the sounds of a summer night outside
the signs of summer
the sounds of worship
sometimes we as humans may think our “worship by words” is an amazing offering to God…
and yes they can be…
but most times, before we even utter our words of worship…
creation has sung and expressed gratitude to the Creator long before us.
the sounds of life
are the proof of the Source of Life.
Last night as church began, there I stood by the large window in the front of our church and I noticed the orange glow of the setting sun.
As I was part of the band leading the congregation in worship by song, I also got to worship and see His beauty in the glorious sunset.
Today, I saw my niece.
little Emily was born today.
This tiny creation.
Made me smile.
So happy for Warren and Chané.
A happy addition to the Hofland clan.
Both sunset and birth of a baby are God’s creation.
Both are beautiful.
Both are His idea.
Both cause me to worship my God.
Last night as we sung in church, I found myself getting upset with the “data person” for being so slow in putting up the words for the song in front of us.
(I thought that others may think the same. And feel frustrated or annoyed?)
But how ODD and INCORRECT of us to feel that way?
In a moment of worshipping our incredible God, we would carry “annoyance” Now that’s foolish and pointless right?
Besides, why are we so “conditioned and relient” on the words in front of us, when we should know them “on our hearts” already. Maybe we are lazy worshippers?
On Saturday I was honoured to be part of a Zulu Wedding. What a super cool experience!
What struck me was the spontaneous and free worship of the Zulu people.
When the minister asked for a song, someone from the church just burst forth into song. everyone joined in.
No need for data projector or the words (it was on their hearts)
No need to wait for the right chord to be played or someone to lead (each person is a worship leader potentially)
No need for a band in fact (the rhythm is i them.)
No need for “an order of service” (their worship was spontaneous.)
We are different cultures.
There is a western way of doing things.
But sometimes it would be great if the Zulu culture and way of doing things would infiltrate the “westernized” worship we so often “organise”
Maybe we should pray for power failures of the band equipment, the data projector to fail one night…
And see how the people would worship then?
Would it be TOO MUCH of a disruption or would it set people free in a new kind of worship?
What do you think?