The First Cause

Worship is to feel in your heart and express in some appropriate manner a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence to that most ancient Mystery, that Majesty which philosophers call the First Cause but which we call Our Father Which Are in Heaven. ~ A.W. Tozer

I find my focus is changing from constantly striving to know more and more about God, to a deep desire to know God more and more.

As I long to know Him, my heart is increasingly drawn to worship. I’ve often been a participant in worship services, but I haven’t done a lot of worshiping – not in the way Tozer describes here:

a delightful sense of admiring awe

an astonished wonder

an overpowering love

Sometimes I experience those things when I’m joining others in prayer or singing praise songs or beloved hymns. But more often, it isn’t in the singing, it’s in the sitting.

It’s in those silent moments that the air is filled with awe and wonder in the presence of the Most Ancient Mystery.

7 Rules of Self Discovery

Hardly anything else reveals so well the fear and uncertainty among men as the length to which they will go to hide their true selves from each other and even from their own eyes.                    ~ A.W. Tozer

To help us remedy our inclination to hide our true selves from each other and even from our own eyes, Tozer came up with The 7 Rules for Self Discovery:

1. What we want most
2. What we think about most
3. How we use our money
4. What we do with our leisure time
5. The company we enjoy
6. Who and what we admire
7. What we laugh at

A. W. Tozer wrote this inventory long before the self-help sections began to overflow at Borders and Barnes and Noble. I decided to concentrate on the one question that might give me the most insight about myself and to choose the question that might help me tell me the most about another.

I learn about myself from each of Tozer’s 7 Rules, but for me, #2 is the most revealing.

What do  I think about the most?

More and more, I see the value in taking inventory of what I chose to think about, and in becoming increasingly conscience of where my mind tends to wander when it’s not called to active duty.

I can be surprisingly unaware of where my unbidden thoughts linger. The more I’m cognizant of what I’m thinking, the more I learn about myself, my heart and my true values.

Since I can’t know anyone else’s mind or motives, for insight into others I pick # 7.

What do they laugh at.

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? There are a myriad of subtle and sometimes not so subtle things we can learn about each other based on what we laugh at. Laughter reveals more than just our sense of humor. Attitudes, opinions, prejudices, and values that often remain veiled in conversation, crop up in laughter. What makes us laugh reveals a corner of our unspoken hearts.

If I’m going to grow in grace, then I have to concentrate, not just on grace, but on growing. One aspect of that is following Tozer’s prompts for self discovery and another is to pay closer attention to the hearts of others.

Do you want to weigh in? Which two do you find most most telling? What do they tell you about yourself and about others?

Cheers, My Friends!

One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organizations do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. ~ A. W. Tozer

If Tozer is right about what church isn’t; then, although I’ve gone to church all my life, I’ve had very little church experience.

I don’t watch much TV. I work nights so I program the DVR and hit the play button when I start to fade around 4 in the morning.

Last week I started recording Cheers. It must be on a lot since I already have 35 episodes in the queue. I’ve watched a couple, sort of. Actually, I’ve watched the opening sequence and listened to the theme song. I really love the theme song. After that, I lose interest.

I couldn’t explain what compelled me to record Cheers in the first place. I don’t care for beer and I haven’t followed a sitcom since Mary Tyler Moore.

Tonight I figured it out. I was looking for a church.

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.
I love the song. I love the concept.
Maybe we could be more real with each other and find more grace if churches were a little bit more like the make-believe bar in Boston.

An interesting thing about blogging is that you get glimpses of the insides of people. You see aspects they choose to share in posts and comments that you might miss out on at the dinner table.

While I’m traveling, I’m uncertain of my schedule, but likely won’t write often. I’m mixing in one or two of my first posts with new ones. This was the 3rd or 4th post I’d written and although it was only a couple of months ago, I’ve reached different conclusions. I wasn’t just looking for a church, I was looking for you. Thank you for the fellowship we share here and for the encouragement you are in my life.