Posts Tagged ‘worship’

Three years ago God tugged on my heart to leave a very secure and exciting college pastorate and move to Seattle to start a church. This past Sunday, after three years of listening to and following after God, Epic Life Church was officially opened.

And it was awesome!

We began the morning pulling the trailer to the theater and starting to set up a half hour late at 7:30am, but things started coming together and we broke at 9 am to pray and asked God to give us peace and let us enjoy the morning, no matter what happens.

Ten sandwich boards and an eight foot banner set out on the streets and outside the theater and then with the lights down on the house, lights up on the stage and a great atmosphere creating screen behind, D-Vic and the band cranked up the amps and worship ensued with 110 people in the main auditorium and twenty some kids in the children’s theater. The worship music ended with a hiphop hymn and Nathan rapping to bring it home. It was sweet.

I spoke on John 1:1, The Word/Logos with painted black boxes with white letters painted on them, “LOGOS” and explained the Epic Life vision and what God is doing in North Seattle and on Aurora.

We ended out with David’s own song, Your Words.  Then it was off to talk to people and encourage them and answer questions.  It was excellent!

By 12:30 pm we had the trailer packed back up and exited the theater clean and ready for the next movie.

Later that night we met to celebrate at our home with ample celebratory ice cream and toppings.

Thank you God for letting us be in the midst of your Story here in North Seattle.

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I was at one of my fave coffee haunts, the Hot-Wire, recently renamed to The Laughing Ladies, on 15th ave. N. and 180th st. It is the only shop that I can find a Mayan Mocha, a chocolate flavored coffee with cayenne pepper. Hmmreally good. The picture I am about to share withyou will be hard to believe, but as I sat down with my 12 oz. Mayan Mocha I accidentally spilled a bit over the lip of the cup, which dripped from the handle creating this sweet piece of art.

myan-mocha with spilled cayenne pepper

Now I don’t know about you but that spillage looks a lot like a cayenne pepper, the reason I enjoy the Mayan Mocha so much. Here’s a picture of what a real cayenne pepper looks like.

cayenne-pepper

Pretty cool.

I have been reading through Acts 19 lately, which is a wonderful true story of when Paul and his companions where in Ephesus for three years and some pretty amazing things happened. Here’s the run down…

This was an account of Paul’s third time out on a journey that was specifically purposed to encourage and strengthen churches he had started in the past and also to venture into new cities to start new movements of people who believe in Jesus. The city of Ephesus seemed like a target destination for Paul. He had some good friends, Aquila and Priscilla, who had stayed there as Paul passed through the city on his second trip and now he returned to this coastal port city to spend time with this couple for what turned into three years.

I often wonder if Paul had any plans when he traveled. Like how long am I going to stay? What am I going to do? How am I going to pay for this? It always seems like he arrives at some location, usually a city of size-able renown, and stays until someone tries to kill him or he has talked to everyone in the city.  This time was no different.

The city of Ephesus was a city of greatness in the first century dating back hundreds of years and centered around one of the seven wonders of the ancient world; the temple to the goddess Artemis/Diana.  This was a massive temple around a stone that fell from the sky and resembled Artemis. The city also had many other temples and baths and places of occultish worship. The city itself thrived on the revenue from tourists who came to the city to see the temples and take part in the goddess worship. It was a corruptcity with a huge occultic practice and following. The temple provided hundreds of temple “priestesses” who were available for orgies and the like as “worship” to Artemis. And as a reflection of this the city offered the same throughout it’s streets.

This is the scene that Paul and his companions were welcomed into as they set their eyes on the people of Ephesus. This of course was an important city around the world also. As a port city it enjoyed a lucrative commercial trade status to the sea and into Asia. The influence of the city throughout the world was great because of the number of people who traveled through and lived in the city of 350,000.

Acts 19 tells of the amazing miracles that were happening because of the Holy Spirit working through Paul. Paul was able to heal many people of disease and demon possession and cloth pieces that touched him would be taken to the ill and healing power would flow from the cloth to the inflicted and have healing power. Pretty crazy stuff.  These things were important for this city to see. Because of the demonic influence on the city and the reliance upon occultic incantations and the worship at many different temples, the power of the Most High God had to be seen in two ways; physically and spiritually. So God allowed Paul to heal the physical and the spiritual lives of the people in this city.

A group of occultic brothers tried to use the name of Jesus to cast a demon out of a man for their profit only to find out that the demon knew who Jesus was and even knew Paul but didn’t know these men, because they did not have the Holy Spirit. The possessed man attacked the seven brothers and beat them, tore their clothes off and chased them away. News of this traveled around the city quite quickly even without the nightly news and the people of Ephesus began to see the power of Jesus and the lack of power of all the gods and goddesses they were worshipping.

This is an important happening so that this city could tangibly see the power of the Holy Spirit. Throughout these three years that Paul spent in Ephesus many people came to the Lord, in fact so many people came to the Lord that the idol selling business started to fail, because people were turning from idol worship to non-idol worship; turning from following a powerless goddess to following an all powerful God; turning from basically worshipping the flesh and desires of sin to setting self aside and worshipping God who gives the ultimate gift of love; turning from a temporary gratification to eternal satisfaction.

So what does this have to do with a cup of my favorite Mayan Mocha and a spilled cayenne pepper?  It just reminded me of a word. Permanent. I showed the coffee saucer to Curtis behind the counter at the Laughing Ladies and he said, “That’s cool.” Then he took it and I am sure the next place for the saucer was the dish washer. “Gone, my art is,” in my best Yoda.

Seattle, like Ephesus, worships many idols that will vanish and can never be permanent. The goddess Artemis/Diana was all about the worship of sex, nature and the fulfillment of self.  Artemis was called “Mother of all things,” “the protector of the Agora,” which was the market place and that of the center of commerce; “Patron of Hunters”, dealing with the gathering of food; “Patron of the Wild Animals” also called “Mother of Nature.” We would say “Mother Earth.”  She was also called the “goddess of Childbirth,” speaking into child centered parenting.  Some would sacrifice to her as a patron goddess before going on a military campaign. Also the goddess of virginity. And more.

The point is that “she” was worshipped in many ways, but now the great wonder of the ancient world is no longer standing. It has been completely eliminated…but for one pillar of the 121 pillars, which was re-errected recently as a touristic location. The rest of the temple after being torn down was made into roads and other buildings and over time the amazing temple disappeared, much like the spilled cayenne pepper at the Laughing Ladies coffee shop.

The Christian movement in Ephesus took over and the occultic practices diminished. Christianity continued to grow and flourish in radical ways and will never be “washed off.”  Although over last two millennium Satan has tried countless times to wipe out the name of Christ, he will never succeed. Never.

Here we are in Seattle a kind of Ephesus in this short period on the time line of the world’s existence. Aurora Ave. screams the worship of sex, money and self. Seattle screams the worship of animals, especially dogs, the worship of nature, of food, and commerce and the name of Christ is being pushed away as men try hard to rid Seattle of the influence of God Most High. I believe God is doing something extra ordinary with Epic Life Church over the next three years that will transform this city and its focus in worship.

All that from a coffee spill?