Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Worship // in Gold and Black and Elephants

Hey y'all! I sure enjoyed blogging several more times than usual last week! I was pulled in to help my dad with a work deadline towards the end of the week which unfortunately put a halt on continuing my excessive posting. I really enjoy building websites though and I'm thankful it's not tedious work. :) Friday evening and all day Saturday was our church's Reformation Festival which was an absolute delight.


We had a dessert contest, several lectures, an all-night whole-hog roast, many meals together, yard games, and a variety show! The theme of the lectures was "Worship" and I feel like we barely scratched the surface of how much there is to learn about it! The more I learn of these things, the more I realize just how awesome God is. As it should be, I suppose.

We took a break from Romans yesterday (yes, I realized I never blogged last week's church outfit or the week before. I'm going to try to get to that after this deadline is done-- I looooved the colors of them!) to continue learning about worship. So excited to share with you what I learned. Our text was Psalm 95.

 
Psalm 95 shows us the two responses, or attitudes towards the Lord that we should have as we come before the Lord to worship Him at church. We call them responses because God is calling His people to worship and we respond to that call. Verses 1-5 show us the response:
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.
 
1) Rejoicing exuberance.  In these verses, the words "sing" and "shout" are the same word in the Hebrew. The translators tried to get the reality of what the word means across by translating it in two ways. It means a ringing, shouting, cry! To make a loud, qualified noise (aka not the loud noise of a machine) with joyfulness and deliberateness. It's the word God used when he told the Israelites to shout around the wall of Jericho on the 7th day and when Gideon and his men broke their pots and shouted, "For the sword of the Lord and Gideon!" The psalmist is telling us that this is how we should come to worship.
"Oh come," is a phrase that means to make haste to come. We should make haste and come and want to shout like that! We should be excited to enter this most important time of the week with utter excitement and vigor!
 
The second attitude we should have towards the great King above all gods as we come into His presence is spoken of in verses 6-7:
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
 
2) Humble adoration. Let us worship and bow down in reverence. This may seem contradictory to our first attitude, but these responses are not either/or, but both/and. Verse 6 says worship means to bow down to our superior. What's going on in the mind of the inferior as he humbles himself? This is a term of action and posture. Solomon prayed on his knees at the dedication of the temple. The priests prayed with hands upraised for the morning and evening sacrifices. Bodily postures both express and influence the posture of the heart. Exuberant joy and reverent humility are never opposites, but are heart attitudes we ought to have.
 
Throughout this Psalm, we learn the reason we should come worship the Lord; verses 3, 6, 7, etc, mention that the Lord is a great king, the sovereign God of creation. Why are we bowing? Because He is our Maker and He deserves our worship just by who He is. Lest we are intimidated by our great God, verse 7 reminds us that He is our caring Shepherd and we have a very personal relationship with this King we are here to worship.
 
So far, this Psalm has been very upbeat and comforting. Lest we grow soft, the Psalmist finishes with a warning about having a non-worshipful spirit:
Today, if you will hear His voice:
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.
For forty years I was grieved with that generation,
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,
And they do not know My ways.’
So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”
 
"Do not harden your hearts." This is a command, a prohibition. We need to be warned about what the opposite of worship is: a hard heart. What is that exactly? The psalmist references events that unfolded at Maribah, when His people complained, worshiped their own idols, and were hardened towards the things that excite God. What does this look like for us who are not wandering in the desert looking for water? Do we come to worship with humble adoration or do we feel like, "Well, I went to church this week, God owes me now"? Complaining is not worship.
 
I was personally convicted over the weekend that often my posture is, "I need worship today. I need fed!" which, although it's true and worship is a means of grace to us and does nourish me, it can be too self-centered. I need it. You've heard me say that before here. Maybe more so I should be going to church to give. Give myself, give my heart, give my worship. God owes me nothing. I owe Him everything.
I love the buzz of expectation that makes our church hum on Sunday morning. We are all anticipating our favorite 2 hours of the week, those hours that we meet with God with His people and commune with Him. He is there! And I need to be eager to come with humility, reverence, and an ability to shout because I'm just.so.excited.

Silly picture, huh?  To match my belt, I found a gold ribbon headband and used it as a hat band. I also safety pinned the sides of the hat up to make it a more flattering shape for my face. After church, I took the headband off the hat and used it to tame my 3-day-old-campfire-smelling locks.
 
As I was sitting with a friend over lunch, she asked, "Didn't you wear that skirt last Daylight Savings Time?" I couldn't believe she remembered that and I couldn't believe I actually did that. I seriously haven't worn this skirt in a year and I chose to wear it exactly a year later. :P If you'd like to see another way I wore this skirt, click here.

Also, isn't this belt awesome? I found it when we were cleaning out my great-aunt and great-grandmother's closet and instantly knew I had to find an outfit for it. I like to give myself little fashion challenges like that to keep me thinking creatively about my wardrobe. It took several months, but I finally found an outfit it worked with. :)


Sweater: Thrift store? $3
Skirt: Made by me: Pattern Butterick 3134: $5?
Belt: Handmedown
Hat: Target: $20
Headband: Made by me
Boots: Shoe Carnival: $35
Earrings: Borrowed from sister

Alright, better get back to this deadline. How was your weekend? What was your sermon about? I love reading your comments every week! Blessings!



34 comments :

  1. Well put together outfit, like the belt! Really like these pictures, by the way...what kind of camera do uou use?

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  2. Thanks! I use a Nikon d3100 with a 50mm 1.8 lens and then I use Lightroom to edit with my own filters. :)

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  3. I love this outfit! Blue and Gold look so good together in my opinion! And the belt is so cute.:)

    ~Jenessa

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  4. That is, quite definitely, a fabulous skirt. I have a hard time finding skirts in that pattern at that length! Clearly this is just a sign I need to get over myself and start making my own.

    That is one of my favorite Psalms! I love the call to Worship as a noisy, riotous bunch of ecstatic people together to sing and shout and just BE together. The sort of staid, quiet nature of some churches can throw me off my game. There should be sound! I suppose I kind of have that feeling about kids in church; some places they're really not welcome, but I heard once that having kids in church involves a "noisy theology" and I loved that phrase. Children worship with every inch of themselves, and we should be doing the same!

    I am reading The Story of Christianity, Volume 1 by Justo Gonzalez right now and there is just so much I kind of vaguely knew had happened, but didn't know the context. I honestly can't wait to get to the Reformation - I know a little about Martin Luther and the Theses, but having all this history from the very beginning to back everything up is... incredible. Like I said, lots of it I kind of knew the basics but filling in the details has been really fascinating and great. Helps us to see where we came from and how we got there. Can't wait for Martin Luther's section. Although I think that might be in Volume 2...

    I know you said you're not much of a book-reader, but in your Q&A you've mentioned your history courses in homeschooling coming from an apologetics point of view... how much of Christian-specific ancient history (like, Roman times, for example) was involved, if you don't mind me asking?

    I love your outfit. Perfect fall/winter outfit!

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    1. Hi Katie! My history curriculum was by Dr. George Grant, an awesome moral philosophies teacher: http://kingsmeadow.com/curriculum/
      It's very much from a Christian perspective and teaches that we need to look at everything through the lens of our worldview. It covers Creation to modern times. :) Hope that kind of answers your question.

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    2. It does help, thanks! I'm clicking around the site now. I've just got Christian history on the brain and it made me wonder how much of the curriculum you worked with was straight Christian history and how much was general world history from Christian worldview. It looks like he does pretty much everything, but one whole section is straight Christian history. Cool.

      Thanks for your answer, Olivia! Sorry to be all about questions this morning.

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  5. This was a very encouraging post, Olivia. Your outfit's very lovely!

    Our church has just finished going through the Book of Amos.

    His Princess,
    Bekah

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  6. Hi Olivia! I just wanted to drop by and let you know how much your blog has blessed me! I learn so much from reading your blog and it's been a great encouragement to me. It's heartening to know that there are others out there who desire style AND modesty!
    Have a great week! Blessings, Natalie

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  7. Nossa...você ficou muito bonita!
    Também gosto de roupas nesse padrão.

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  8. So cute Olivia! How funny your friend remembered that!
    Our sermon was part one of how God tests our faith.
    My weekend was great! I finally got some stuff done, after having parties etc. on Saturdays for a month straight!
    It was also my dad's birthday! :)
    Amen on the sermon! :)

    -Cassie

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  9. Wow...busted...
    This really convicted me, Olivia! I'm on our church's worship team and I LOVE doing it, it's awesome to be a part of God moving people's hearts as well as my own. But some weeks it's SO HARD! Some weeks I just don't want to be there. I feel beat down and like I don't belong there and it can be very hard. Right now there isn't anyone at church that I have anything in common with, which makes things all the harder! It seems like Satan likes to prey upon the emotions of the Pastor's family the most. I feel bad for my dad, because he takes it all to heart and thinks if people aren't doing what they're supposed to, even though my dad is preaching the word and telling them what God wants from them, he still thinks it's his fault. That can really put a huge cloud over our family. Unfortunantely, it also makes me upset with people, mostly because of how much it hurts.
    Enough whining! Just to say all that in that you convicted me that I really need to check my attitude and focus on God, instead of the fallible people around me, also remembering that I'm not perfect (shoking, I know! LOL! ;)

    A lovely outfit, by the way. It's funny your friend remembered a year ago! Kind of scary...does it make you more conscious of what you wear now?! LOL!
    Blessings!
    Your sister in Christ,
    Natasha
    A Modest Fashion Blog:
    www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

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  10. Hey, Olivia! I just had to take a moment to tell you what an amazing outfit you're wearing in those pictures! That belt is so amazing and unique. (Looks great on you too!) Our sermon was about the spiritual battle between righteousness and sin (good against evil). Got me thinking....that can relate to fashion. Every girl wakes up to the question, "Should I be modest today, or is it OK to show a little skin?" We also learned how we can stay firm in the Faith when we face temptations. Thanks for posting! :)

    Ashley B.

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  11. Olivia, i love that belt! I really like the outfit too! :)
    -Katie <3

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  12. What an interesting and exhorting message! Thanks for sharing. :)
    Your outfit is really creative and fun; I especially like your hat!

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  13. What a beautiful outfit--and the belt is so unique and stylish!

    I wondered how you take your fashion pictures--do you have a tripod and are they timed shots, or does someone in your family take them for you?

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    1. In the early days of blogging, I would do timed shots on an ironing board, but that can be time consuming. Now my awesome sister Willa takes all of my photos. It's a huge blessing to me! No tripod is used. :)

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    2. Wow, I never even thought of an ironing board . . . maybe I could use that idea! :) Thank you :)

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  14. And didn't you wear that skirt the time before last daylight saving, too?? =) It's a great piece! Love how you took a plain outfit up a notch!

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  15. I really like the belt and your hat!

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  16. I'm an elephant lover and that's a great belt! And the skirt has a bit of a turn of the century look. I have a couple of skirts similar to that from Kohl's on clearance a couple of years ago when that era made another modern comeback. I just wore one of them for and Anne of Green Gables/Avonlea linkup! http://trulyskrumptious.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/anne-of-green-gables-inspired-fashion-young-anne/ AND http://trulyskrumptious.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/more-turn-of-the-century-inspired-fashion/

    I love ready your blog and your fresh, young perspective!

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  17. Love that elephant belt! And the whole outfit as well.(:

    ~Vicki
    decked out in ruffles

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  18. I love your belt! It's so delightfully quirky and vintage-looking. And blue + gold are a perfect color combo. :) Love it, Olivia!

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  19. I love it! The belt is pretty cool! That hat though makes all the difference! :)

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  20. Nice really like the outfit Olivia?
    by the way what Church do you go to?

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  21. Wow, thats a lovely outfit! What a cute elephant belt, and hat! That hat really suits you and the colour combinations were great on you! I loved reading about the messages you learnt from your church, very encouraging Oliva! Can't wait to read more!

    ~ Riarna

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  22. gorgeous! i love your taste of clothes :)
    xx.
    living-over-the-rainbow.blogspot.sg

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  23. What a great outfit! And these pictures are so gorgeous. :)

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  24. Thank you for your faithful life for God! You are such a blessing and inspiration! Love, Cheryl

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  25. The lighting and color composition of these photos are absolutely stunning.

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  26. I love hearing that others are celebrating Reformation Day too! We live in Africa, and have decided to celebrate at least a little for Reformation Day each year. This year was tricky as we're on the road on a preaching trip. I looked around for some little outing, since we couldn't throw a party when we're staying in someone else's house. We went to an exotic pet store, and the outing was made memorable by being attacked by a chicken! It was funny, but it also drew blood.
    Hey, maybe your elephants came from Africa! Good missionary outfit. : -)

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  27. Brown and blue are one of my favorite combinations, your outfit is very beautiful. xx

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  28. Do you have Davidic/worship dance at your church?

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    1. No, we have a very liturgical service. A couple of us raise our hands occasionally, but otherwise it's pretty formal. :)

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