Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Worship & Dispensationalism

This summer I have done some independent study on two topics, worship (specifically in the local church) and dispensationalism. I have only read three books concerning these things, so I am far from having a good grasp on either of them. The books are listed on this site, so I would encourage anyone to read them who is up for some good study.

In one of the classes I had last spring, I had an assignment to study one of the sacrifices listed in the book of Leviticus. The assignment motivated me to study the Jewish sacrificial system and feasts that accompany them. I know that the Law has been fulfilled in Christ, and we no longer sacrifice animals to God for atonement; however, these sacrifices have some intriguing significance that can and should definitely be realized in our worship today.

For instance, some of us might be appalled at the way a particular priest or pastor dresses during a Sunday service. What would we think when we saw the elaborate garments of the High Priest in Israel? Perhaps we are bored with old hymns of the faith or Bible passages that are put to songs (ex. Lord's Prayer). However, we fail to realize that most of the Psalms were to be sung and accompanied with musical instruments. In fact, certain psalms were sung by worshipers as they approached the temple in Jerusalem or after certain sacrifices.

Please hear me the right way. I am not condemning any particular church or saying that our congregational worship is way off kilter. I am simply a seminary student...not a pastor or an elder or holding any church office. Rightfully, I have no ground to ridicule that which I don't actively pursue. What I am saying is that one of the major themes of the entire Bible is worship to God. We are fortunate to have the Scriptures laid before us to see the demands that God places on man if they want to enter into His presence. Even though God is present everywhere at all times, I know that He deeply cares about a group of His witnessing children who gather together in fellowship for the purpose of bringing Him glory.

Any on-looker interested in the way that Israel worshiped their God, would have been taken back at the procedures of the sacrifices and all the things the High Priest had to do before He entered the Holy of Holies. They would have seen that Israel's worship was very distinct, precise, orderly, and costly. Unfortunately, I think that people visit our churches and walk away with a different perspective. Perhaps they think it was entertaining, exciting, or just boring. Aside from the gathering of believers on Sunday, what do people think when they visit you? Can they tell that your life is marked by distinction, precision, order...Worship to God?

I'll write more about dispensationalism later.

God, Our Provider

Hello to everyone! Sorry it has been a while since I last posted anything on this site. Even though the summer is here, me and Brandy have been staying busy. As always, God has been very gracious to us, giving us what we do not deserve.

Some of you might remember that Brandy was interviewing with Pfizer, Inc. (pharmaceutical sales) just before we made the move to Dallas. Well, toward the end of the school year she heard back from them asking her to continue the interview process for a possible opening in the Dallas area. She pursued the opportunity without thinking too seriously about what might happen if they offered her the job. To make a long story short, Brandy just signed on with Pfizer and she will be starting July 6! It turned out that one of the students she had in class this year, has a father who is working with Pfizer. He helped her to prepare for the interviews, and she literally blew away a competing prospect who was already in the company and hoping to transfer!

I've titled this blog, "God, Our Provider," because not only will Brandy receive a substantial increase in salary from a "lucrative" teaching career, but also, she gets a company car, cell phone, computer, and other stuff we have yet to figure out. Unbelievable! We could really use your prayers for her first year with the company however. The training is very rigorous, and getting adjusted to her territory will take some time. Good news is that I will also be very busy with school and my job so we can stress out together!

I am personally very thankful for a wife who has truly set herself aside for the betterment of our family. She has already been so willing to help us through this time at seminary, and I rarely, if ever, hear her complain.