Holy Discontent

| — Rev. Brandon Dirks — |


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No More Public Worship

No More Public Worship

By: Rev. Brandon Dirks

This article WILL get me in trouble.  But I am already troubled by the emphasis on public worship.

It is not hard to look around the world at the overall Christian church and clearly see that the emphasis is on public worship.  We have cathedrals built for public worship and light and sound shows in contemporary worship.  Forms are filled out year after year reporting on “worship attendance.”  The local church calendar is centered around the days and times of worship services.  Churches invest a large portion of the tithes and offerings to staff and resources to build bigger, bolder, louder, more impactful services of public worship.  Usually the biggest complaints about the church are Continue reading

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Holy Discontent – Fasting Away (part 1 of 3)

By: Rev. Brandon Dirks

romans-12-1

By hour 36, I feel my humanity. I am hungry.

“…offer your bodies as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” Romans 12:1b

During Lent, I fast from food from sundown Monday to sunrise Wednesday. Three meals. 36 hours. No food. I fast because I have a lot to prove to myself.

Fasting is an ancient spiritual discipline that is unlike any other. It involves the whole self…mind, body, and soul. The other spiritual disciplines: prayer, worship, scripture reading, service, etc., rarely involve such a full immersion, or commitment, to engage the heart of God. All day long, you are reminded that you are going without. And with each hunger pang, I am reminded of God. It is hard to explain what disciplined, intentional fasting can do to one’s spiritual life to someone who has never done it. It changes you. It is changing me. While all the spiritual disciplines change us, fasting truly transforms. It changes my day. It changes my outlook. It changes what I think about. It makes me more deliberate in my interactions with others. It makes me more aware of my limitations. It makes me rely on God more than myself. When I am empty, I experience God’s fullness! Fasting makes me face my humanity.

True worship involves your whole body. Too many Christians barely engage their minds in worship. When some occasionally attend a worship service, they sit passively in their seats, mumble through the hymns, check out what others are wearing, or search to find something to complain about. No wonder attendance at worship services are declining across ALL Christendom! The church has unwittingly taught that worship is simply an event one attends—when it is convenient! Fasting helps me worship God all day long—with my whole self!

Tomorrow, Part 2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world…” Romans 12:2a

 


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Happy Valentine’s Day from Egypt, Katie!

By: Brandon Dirks

Day 13/14 (Saturday/Sunday): Pyramids, Sphinx, Egypt Museum, Muhammad Ali Mosque

Brandon and Osama

Osama, our Egyptologist guide. Smart dude!

Traveling from Cairo to Louisville is quite an expedition. Three legs, three continents. But it gives me time to reflect. I spent Valentine’s Day half a world away from my Valentine, and I am finding I miss her terribly. Although I have had an Continue reading


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On my way home

By: Brandon Dirks

We were touring from 7:30am to 8:30pm on Saturday, so I went right to bed. Sorry I was too tired to write anything for the blog!  We tour on Sunday, and then leave for the airport at 10:30 pm. Looking forward to coming home (and seeing my Valentine!), but also I’m sad to leave this wonder-filled country and area. I’ve learned Continue reading


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Traveling the Route of Exodus (in reverse)

By: Brandon Dirks

Day 12: Travel day…from Sharm el Sheikh to Cairo…by BUS!

Leaving St. Catherine’s on what I’ve been calling Mt. Sinai was very difficult. I felt something there. (Yes, I can feel things!). The mountains, the remoteness, no TV, no cell phone, no wifi. Just desert, mountains, the Bedouins, and he history of that place. I should take groups here for retreat! Real retreat!

Sharm el Sheikh Red Sea Sunrise

Sun coming up over the Red Sea in Sharm el Sheikh

But it wasn’t for everyone. There are some Continue reading