Summary: As we continue our series on The Life - we will talk about the practice of celebration... (The Life - part 5)

Party, Like It’s The Kingdom of God

The Life – part 5

The Practice of Celebration

[We decorated the church for a party balloons etc)

PICTURE – the following scenes in your mind….

· The Angels when they won the world series

· Mark Mcquire when he broke Roger Maris home run record

· Emmitt Smith after he broke the all time rushing record 2 weeks ago

· The political gatherings of those who won elections last Tuesday night

· The hallways of school when that last bell rings and schools out for summer

· The end of a high school commencement

· The parents and family at the hospital at the birth of a baby

· The reaction when the doctor walks in and says there is absolutely no sign of the cancer

· The pier when a naval ship pulls in after being gone from home for 6 months

· New Years Eve at Times Square

· Central during our first service in our new building

· When we finally get a parking lot

QUESTION – what one word describes those scenes? Celebration!

Today – is week 5 in our message series called, “The Life,” - a message series that is beginning to change – that is beginning to transform the lives of some people in this very room. (is your life one of them?)

LISTEN – what we do with our life matters; none of us (not you – not me – not the person sitting next to you) are where we need to be spiritually (there is so much more that we can: be, do & experience in Christ) TELL the person sitting next to you, “your not there yet.” LISTEN - change, real change, authentic transformation is possible – it’s the heart of the Gospel – it is God’s plan for your life.

QUESTION – do you want to change? To grow spiritually? to get unstuck? Do you want to live your life in Christ to the max? IF – you answered yes to those questions, (and I can see no sane reason why everyone here wouldn’t) THEN – what you have to do is learn how to tap into the transforming power of God by practicing spiritual disciplines…

AND – like we said last week we are not trying to earn anything from God by being disciplined. God does not love us more if we practice spiritual disciplines or love us less if we don’t. BUT NEVERTHELESS – spiritual disciplines are essential to our spiritual growth because by practicing them we put ourselves in a place where God can change, mold, shape and transform us… Spiritual disciplines - as I like to say help us to hoist the sails of our spiritual life so that we can catch the fresh wind of God to change… THE ULTIMATE GOAL – of S.D. is to love God more & more and to love people more & more… In effect to be more like who? Like Jesus..

The first spiritual discipline that we looked at last week was the practice of solitude… The practice of slowing down, the practice of unplugging from the world and hanging out with God. QUESTION – did you have any periods of solitude during the last 7 days? Have you scheduled your ½ day for this month; 3-4 hours just you & God? [if yes awesome – if no why?]

Today we are going to talk about the practice of Celebration….

2 Samuel 6:12-16, 20-22

Prayer. . .

In his book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, John Orteberg writes;

Sometime ago I was giving a bath to our 3 children. I had a custom of bathing together, more to save time than anything else. I knew that eventually I would have to stop group bathing, but for the time being it seemed efficient.

Johnny was still in the tub, Laura was out and safely in her pajamas, and I was trying to get Mallory tried off. Mallory was out of the water, but was doing what has come to be known in our family as the Dee Dah Day dance. This consists of running around and around in circles, singing over and over again, “Dee dah day, dee dah day.” It was a relatively simple dance expressing great joy. When she is too happy to hold it in any longer, when words are inadequate to give voice to her euphoria, she has to dance to releases her joy. So she does the Dee Dah Day.

On this particular occasion I was irritated. Mallory Hurry!” I prodded. So she did – she began running in circles faster and faster and chanting “Dee Dah Day” more rapidly. “No Mallory that is not what I mean! Stop with the dee dah day stuff and get over here so I can dry you off. Hurry!

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