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When I was a kid in Kansas City, we lived next door to a family who owned a publishing company. They had an old 4 door Mercedes that they would let their son drive to school. He was 3 years older than me and also named Tim. On those winter mornings when the temperature had dropped below freezing, I would walk next door to their house and find the car sitting in the driveway with the engine running to warm it up. Tim would turn on the car and let it run for 15 minutes to warm up the car and engine and get the fluids thawed and running. One morning though, Tim overslept and in his rush to get ready, he forgot to turn on the car. We got inside the car and it was freezing. We backed out of the driveway and headed to school and the car was just spitting and sputtering. We didn't know if the car was going to get there or not. It took almost the entire ride to school for it to get warmed up and running at its peak capacity.

And that's exactly what happens when we come to worship unprepared. It takes forever to warm up our hearts, focus our minds and free our Spirits so that we can enter worship prepared to encounter and honor and glorify the King. If we don't take the time to prepare before worship on Sunday morning and to worship individually throughout the week, then it takes most of the praise time or even more to get to a place to worship our Creator and Redeemer. And some of us never even get to that place. And then we walk out say, "That's wasn't a very good service today" when in reality the worship we gave God was very good to begin with. Worship is both personal and corporate and there's something unique when you are in the presence of a group of people who have take responsibility to prepare themselves for worship.

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