It seems that there are so many ways to approach God.  Just so long as we use the door (Jesus) that God requires to reach Him, and so long as our hearts are right, there are so many ways to worship Him.  He is so loving that He accepts all of these approaches.  There is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus, but after that point, there is a multitude of possible experiences that people can have when they encounter God and have fellowship with Him or when they worship Him. I grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition of the southern United States.  The churches tended to be like the people of the region, open, friendly, easy-going, mostly informal, not-too-radical.  So the services were nice, not too loud or crazy.  On the other hand, I’ve been to some charismatic services that were quite wild and energetic.  The first few times I attended a church like this, it was a little daunting.  But as I became used to their style of worship, I realized that this is just another way to worship God, and it is perfectly acceptable, even enjoyable when you learn to let go of your fear of what others might think and how you might look if you do this or that.  Just letting go and flowing with the moment of joyous ecstasy, as you give in to a public expression of normally very private feelings of love, joy, and appreciation.  This is the ultimate aim of worship as you give in to your expression of your love for the wonderful things God has done for you, and you learn to love and focus on Him so much that you don't even care what people around you might think about your behavior.   It is in these moments that you put God higher than anything in your life, in His rightful place, even sacrificing your "dignity" in an explosion of pure joy at the realization that He loves you more than you can comprehend and that He gave you so much more than you can ever pay back. 

God loves variety.  That’s why He made people with so many different shapes and shades of skin and personalities.  So it stands to reason that God is happy with whatever worship that we may come up with in our infinitely unique personalities, perspectives, and circumstances.  The main thing is what we intend with our hearts.  If we pour out our hearts, it really doesn’t matter what style of worship that we use.  God will be pleased because He knows the thankful attitude and the humble effort that comes from inside those who truly love Him and worship Him in earnest.  Even if your manifestation of what’s inside you doesn’t turn out quite right, He still accepts your worship with pleasure because He knows you were doing your best and giving your best.  Think of it in the way you would react to the humble, sometimes unusual gifts from your own child, recognizing the pure innocent love that produced it.   That’s really all God wants from us in life, just do our best, submit to Him, and obey Him when He tells us to do something.  Of course, when we are young, we don’t know what our best is.  We don’t have enough experience to realize when we have so much more that we could give.  And perhaps this is a lesson that we spend a lifetime learning anyway.

I’ve worked with soldiers countless times over a 30 year career as a military officer and then worked with them another three years as a government civilian in management over a section with dozens of soldiers.  I can tell when people are really doing their best.  I can tell when people are trying to make me think that they are doing their best but they are not really giving all that they can.  You kind of get a sense for these things over decades of leading people.  But one thing that is universal is that all soldiers that are new to the military world come in with many incorrect perceptions of what good is, of what good enough is, and of what their best effort is.  This is why they must go through basic training.  In basic, they are pushed to the limits of what they can do.  They are usually surprised at what they can accomplish, and of course, although they are suffering under the tyrannical rule of their drill sergeant, they start developing a tremendous confidence in themselves and seeing themselves as adults when they see what they can accomplish individually and as a team. 

I wish there were some type of basic training that we could send all Christians to so that they could get a jump start on an effective Christian walk.  Without that push, most people maintain their false perceptions of their own efforts, thinking that they are doing their best when they are not.  And without any push behind them, they usually lapse into the lowest possible energy state unless they are confronted with something that gives them pleasure or pumps their ego.  Alas, we are inherently selfish and ignorant without intervention.  The good news is that God has begun a good work in you, if you have been saved by Jesus, that He promises to bring to completion.  And God takes His training of His children very seriously.  He usually won’t let us go too long in a lazy or ignorant state before He starts pushing us, using different people or various demands, maybe even a few crises.  He has control over all things, and He can easily set up a little training scenario that focuses on whatever areas you need development in.  I know this for fact because He has been training me for many years on being a good leader, father, husband, boss, friend, etc.  I usually know when He is putting me in a training situation because He whispers in His still, small voice, putting an idea in my head that I didn’t generate, which explains what I am going through.  Above all, He is a very loving and gentle teacher.  You need never fear what He will teach you or where He will lead you.  His way and His will are always perfect, and He always has your best interest at heart, wanting to make you into the best you that you can possibly be.  He is the Master.  He created you, so He sees the diamond in the rough that you are and knows the marvelous possibilities that you can become because He knows all things.  

 


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The proposition of the themes of the children and young blood are very central in their polished and refined nature. It is inquired and performed. The subsequent nature of the individuals are perfect and oriental. It is very enthusiastic and ascribed. The perfection and excellence of the lives are attained and obtained. It is offered and implicitly mentioned.

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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