Monday, April 27, 2009

Burnt Stones

Psalm 149
1 Praise the LORD.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the saints.
2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
3 Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with tambourine and harp.
4 For the LORD takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with salvation.
5 Let the saints rejoice in this honor
and sing for joy on their beds.
6 May the praise of God be in their mouths
and a double-edged sword in their hands,
7 to inflict vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with fetters,
their nobles with shackles of iron,
9 to carry out the sentence written against them.
This is the glory of all his saints.
Praise the LORD.

I had the honor and privilege of meeting Kent Henry this weekend. If you know songs like WHEN I LOOK INTO YOUR HOLINESS, ALL HAIL KING JESUS, or TAKE ME IN (to name just three!!!), you've been touched by him in some way. He's going to churches everywhere, teaching about worshiping. I can't encourage you enough: if your church does a weekend with Kent, or he's nearby, GO. You will be blessed beyond measure!
Kent has a passion to bring back "burnt stones" to the Body. Here's the reference:
When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, "What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?"--Nehemiah 4:1-2
I think a lot of my friends online would qualify more as burnt stones than as living stones. :) Burnt stones are the people who used to be active in church - serving, teaching, singing - but they got "burnt out" or wounded along the way. And so they're not assembling with the saints anymore, for one reason or another.
We came quite close to this last summer, I think. If we hadn't gone when God said GO to our new church, I don't know if we would have WANTED to be in church anymore. GOD IS GOOD!
If you're one of my burnt stone friends, please know this: I LOVE YOU. And I'm sad you were wounded, however it happened. I'm sorry you got burned out. When we base our service on performance instead of Presence, it's bound to happen - and it's HARD to find that place!!
Please know: God has a place for YOU, too. It's so easy to just stop going to church. It's another whole day that you can rest. But it's not all about what feels good, is it? :) God's got HIS BEST for you, my dear friend. I know you can worship Him "on your own", but DO YOU? If meeting with other Christ-followers wasn't important, God wouldn't have given us so much instruction on how to love one another. THINK ABOUT IT! :)
If you're a stone who has been restored or still lives, please reach out to the burnt stones in your life. Call them! Kent says to tell them these three things:
Try it. I know there have been a LOT of times no one has reached out to me when I've been away for a long time. WE NEED TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, NOT LIVE LONELY LIVES!!!!
OK. :) I'm done preaching today. :) I want you to know YOU ARE LOVED. But there's some responsibility in that, too - WE NEED TO LOVE EACH OTHER!
Be blessed, dear friend! I hope you'll leave me a comment?


rhonda said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful time this weekend! I have never heard of those who have been "burnt" by a church body referred to as burnt stones, but it makes sense! Thanks for sharing the things you learned.

Susan Shields said...

Hi Lori,

First of all, thanks for your encouraging comment on my blog tour post!!! You are so kind.

Came over to check out yours and love what I've read!
Yes, I believe it's time for us to help bring restoration to the wounded! His love, working thru us!
Thanks for such an awesome message. Made me send out two emails to friends I haven't heard from in a while!!! :)