“Samuel took a large stone and set it up as a monument between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah and called the name of it Ebenezer—‘the stone of help’—for he said, ‘Up to this point the Lord has helped us!’ ” —1 Samuel 7:12 NEB


The Israelites, through the prayers of Samuel and by the power of Almighty God, had just experienced a great victory against the Philistines.  Samuel took a stone and raised it as a reminder to all who saw it that God is mighty to save and greatly to be praised.  What’s interesting to me is the precursor to the victory in battle was that the children of Israel had repented of their worship of other gods and had returned to worship alone the One True God with their whole heart and mind.  {I Samuel 7:2-4}


God desires our worship.  But He’s not interested in double mindedness.  He wants ALL our worship with all that is within us.  Even now He calls you & I to turn from our idols and to worship Him alone.  The same God who delivered the Hebrew children from emerging blood thirsty Philistines is able to rescue us…IF only we will turn from idols and commit our whole heart and mind to worshipping Him.


When is the last time you examined the other gods in your path that keep you from giving Him your all?  What idols stand between you and a heart of pure worship?  Is it material possessions?  Your vocation?  That next promotion?  Your 401K or other dwindling assets?  A relationship?  Or the longing for a relationship?  Your children?  Obsession over your image or your physical appearance?  Anything that we esteem more than our relationship with Christ quickly becomes an idol. 


In my time alone with Him today on the beach I asked the Lord again to show me the idols in my life that have taken His rightful place on the Throne of my heart.  In repenting & surrendering of my lesser gods, I was free to worship the Lord with a pure and holy passion.  In gratitude I raised my Ebenezer.   


I wasn’t trying to “outdo” Samuel with numerous “Ebenezers”.  I simply had much to be grateful for and hence, got a bit carried away.  But my ensuing art gallery on the beach afforded me several opportunities to tell others of the goodness of the Lord.  I was able to testify to numerous people today…“GOD ROCKS” !


Breakfast on the Beach: Time for ‘seconds’

Colorado winter 

Was it the voice of the Lord, or merely my weariness of cold toes, that beckoned me to flee the frosty Colorado fortress this week?  Regardless, my soul cried out for yet another Breakfast on the Beach experience with my Jesus.  Gladly, I answered the call to meet Him on the shores of San Clemente.   It is always my delight to bask in the presence of the Lord.  My hungry heart is nourished once again.  His Word is washing over me as surely as the cool Southern California waves lap at my feet.  His unfailing love pours over me as the sun drenches me in bright beams all around.


Silence is broken only by steady rhythm of crashing waves and a repeating refrain of seagulls singing while dancing just above the waters.  It is God’s music to me in this moment and I picture Him dancing over me with JOY.  I am His Beloved.  He is passionate for me and He is calling me to dance with Him.  I rise to my feet, toes sinking into the sun baked sand.  We spin and sway to the melodic movement of the ocean’s song.  It is sublime.   seagulls


As glorious as this precious moment is, I am suddenly struck with the reality of what it means to pray without ceasing, to praise in ALL things.  Quietly, I begin to confess,


I do not need the ocean to begin to praise You, Lord.

I do not need a beach to come and dine.

I don’t require sunshine to rejoice in You.

I dare not wait to feel sand beneath my feet before we dance.

I am created for worship, no matter where I am or what’s happening in my life.

I am created for worship and YOU alone are worthy.


“Where shall I go from thy Spirit? Or where shall I flee from thy presence?…If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, YOU are there…” Psm 139: 7 & 9

His unfailing love envelopes me in all places.  His presence never leaves me.  In the blistery cold of Colorado.  In the radiant beams of the California sunshine.  In the stuffy small aircraft floating above the firmament between the two, God is WITH ME.  He is Immanuel, “God with us”.


It’s easy to feel Him with me in the sunshine.  Certainly He is here on the beach.  But also he is near in the darkness, in the quiet, in the shadows.  In the busy places…the airports, the office, the laundry room…God is near.  On the go…in traffic, on the runway, in the subway…God is near.  In the uncertainty of a doctor’s office or the unemployment line, God is with me.  In the stillness of a prayer closet, He is there.  Ever present, He never leaves me.


 For years I have read the Scripture, “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psm. 46:10 It’s been the very reason I make it a regular practice to get away for personal retreats alone with my Lord…so I can be still.  Somehow in my mind I conjured up this image that by coming away to time alone with Jesus, He will find me and begin to speak.  But that is a false image made obvious to me as I meditate on the next verse… “The Lord of hosts is with us,” {46:11}.  Jesus does not need to find me because He never leaves me…the Lord of Hosts is with me!  And He never stops speaking.  It is I who must be still long enough to realize that He is speaking, to listen to what He is saying.  And it is in the listening that I learn anew what His purpose is for my life…


He is calling me to an awareness of His Holy presence that I, being mindful of His constancy, may worship him wherever life finds me. 


“Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; he is also to be feared among all gods.  Glory and honor are in his presence, strength and gladness are in his place…give unto the Lord the glory due his name.  Bring an offering and come before him.  Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”  I Chronicles 16: 25, 27, 29


I am a musical instrument to be played in the presence of the Most Holy God, where music and dancing never cease.  To worship Him is the answer to the age old question “why am I here?”  It is the essence of who I am.


I am a worshipper.                        San Diego pier