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Introduction

A few introductory statements.

I’m Excited Because We’re on the Verge of Seeing God Do


Some Small Things

Relax. Have a good time.

Difference between a conference and a retreat.


1. Relationship are central 1. Meeting are central
2. Experiential 2. Informational

Myth – This weekend will change your life.


Truth – Your life will change your life. This weekend may give you
strategies for being more sensitive to the presence of God in the
present moment. It is also your choice whether or not to follow.

What can you expect this weekend?


To be challenged.
To have fun.
To meet some other believers.
To meet God in a fresh way.
To get some practical ideas on how to enjoy the Lord.

We will alternate between activities, small group meetings, personal


reflection, and talking.

I may ask you to do some new things. Or a few things you haven’t
done in a few years. Or few some, a few more years.

Play games. Move beyond our comfort zones.

This weekend, “Don’t worry about doing anything right.”

As G.K. Chesterton once said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing


badly.”

Now our first exercise. Close your eyes. Breath deep. Invite the Holy
Spirit to come and fellowship in our midst.
Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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Group Action Sheet One

Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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Holy Play
Chesterton Story about the White Farm House
Useless Tree
The Importance of Being Useless

Talk about Play. That’s right play! Laughter, playing games, rolling
down a hill, capturing the flag, hide and seek, kick the can, sledding,
swimming, cannonballs and swan dives, birthday parties and clowns,
music and dancing, not to mention laughing till your sides hurt. PLAY!

God loves to party!

I. Play is expressed in our daily lives.


Play is Extravagance – Woman with Very Expensive Perfume (Matt
26/John 12)
Play is Adventure – digging our way to China, fighting off the pirates,
soaring into outer space; Transforming the world around us
Play is continuous celebration. A party!
Play is an insatiable curiosity
Play is a continual experiment
Experimental musician John Cage –
A purposeful purposelessness
And purposeless play.
This play, however, is an
Affirmation of life.
Not an attempt to bring order out of chaos,
But simply a way of waking up
The very life we are living.

II. Play is an attitude and an act of worship.


Martine Marias-Bousquet says that “Play is a way approaching life
which can be applied to everything but not exclusively attached to
anything in particular.” In other words, it is not limited to a certain set
of activities but can cross all different aspects of living.

I’ve defined play as “an attitude and act of worship--a wondrous


celebration of life— it is also a childlike wonder-filled attitude.”

Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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So play is both an attitude and an activity which that can be
characterized as a joyful, celebration of God and the world around us.

Freedom from, freedom to – Michelangelo and sculpting. “The best


of artists never make a creation that is not already hid in the stone,
in marble fixed, and yet the work is done by hand, which follows
mind and meditation.”

Play is complete in itself. Play is not a vehicle to get something else.

III. Play changes us and changes the world


around us.
Some by-products – Playful activity may create a playful attitude.
A sense of wonder - G.K. Chesterton
A sense of wholeness – We forget ourselves and at the same
time become more connect to our selves. Enter the zone
A sense of community – Retreats, playing together, football
games
A sense of holiness – C.S. Lewis reading George MacDonald.
Visiting the zoo.
A sense of renewal – Sacramental living.

“If we would but play, we might be surprised by the Joy of God


Himself.” C.S. Lewis

IV. Play is rooted in the nature of a loving God.


A. Play may find its origin in the Trinity.
The Heavenly Dance – The ongoing flow of love between the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit
Cornelius a' Lapide writes, "The Son is called child because of his
proceeding everlastingly from the Father, because in the dewy
freshness and spring-time beauty of His eternal youth he eternally
enacts a game before the Father" (Miller 108).
Prov 8:30
30 Then I was beside Him, {as} a master workman; and I was daily
{His} delight, rejoicing always before Him,
(NAU)
The image is from children, which, when playing in the sight of their
nurses, are their delight.
Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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Jesus playing before the Father. and the truth revealed is, `I was by
Him as the closest and the supreme object of the Father's delight. '

B. Creation may be a result of the play of God.


Does it exist for some utilitarian purpose? Is creating one way He
plays?
Play is rooted and grounded in the nature of God. He is a God at
Play. He invites us to play with Him. As we rest in His grace and
celebrate His life, we are transformed through His eternal love. The
God of play has created us to come and join in His eternal play.
Thomas Merton captures this notion as he describes the eternal dance.
He says:
What is serious to men is often very trivial in the sight of
God. What in God might appear to us as "play" is perhaps what
He Himself takes most seriously. At any rate, the Lord plays and
diverts Himself in the garden of His creation, and if we could let
go of our own obsession with what we think is the meaning of it
all, we might be able to hear His voice call and follow Him in His
mysterious, cosmic dance.

C. Scripture reveals God as laughing, spinning, and rejoicing.

Zeph 3:17
17 "The LORD your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will
exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over
you with shouts of joy.
Exult - suws (soos); or siys (sece);
a primitive root; to be bright, i.e. cheerful: KJV - be glad, X greatly, joy,
make mirth, rejoice.

Joy - simchah (sim-khaw'); from OT:8056; blithesomeness or glee,


(religious or festival):
KJV - X exceeding (-ly), gladness, joy (-fulness), mirth, pleasure, rejoice
(-ing).

Rejoice - giyl (gheel); or (by permutation) guwl (gool); a primitive


root; properly, to spin round (under the influence of any violent
emotion), i.e. usually rejoice, or (as cringing) fear:
KJV - be glad, joy, be joyful, rejoice.

Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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Joy - rinnah (rin-naw'); from OT:7442; properly, a creaking (or shrill
sound), i.e. shout (of joy or grief): KJV - cry, gladness, joy,
proclamation, rejoicing, shouting, sing (-ing), triumph.

Rejoice - samach (saw-makh'); a primitive root; probably to


brighten up, i.e. (figuratively) be (causatively, make) blithe or
gleesome:
KJV-- cheer up, be (make) glad, (have, make) joy (-ful), be (make)
merry, (cause to, make to) rejoice, X very.

Ps 96:11
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea
roar, and all it contains; (NAU)
Ps 97:1
1 The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many islands be
glad. (NAU)
Ps 97:12
12 Be glad in the LORD, you righteous ones, and give thanks to His
holy name. (NAU)
Ps 105:3
3 Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the LORD
be glad. (NAU)
Ps 118:24
24 This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be
glad in it. (NAU)
Prov 15:30
30 Bright eyes gladden the heart; good news puts fat on the bones.
(NAU)
Eccl 5:19
19 Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and
wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive
his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God. (NAU)

Eccl 8:15
15 So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for a man
under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will
stand by him in his toils {throughout} the days of his life which God
has given him under the sun. (NAU)
Jer 31:13
Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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13 "Then the virgin will rejoice in the dance, and the young men and
the old, together, for I will turn their mourning into joy and will comfort
them and give them joy for their sorrow. (NAU)
Zech 2:10
10 "Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am
coming and I will dwell in your midst," declares the LORD. (NAU)

Rejoice - suws (soos); or siys (sece); a primitive root; to be bright,


i.e. cheerful:
KJV-- be glad, X greatly, joy, make mirth, rejoice.
Ps 35:9
9 And my soul shall rejoice in the LORD; it shall exult in His
salvation. (NAU)

Ps 40:16
16 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love
your salvation say continually, "The LORD be magnified!" (NAU)

Eternal Perspective
Isa 65:18
18 "But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I
create Jerusalem {for} rejoicing and her people {for} gladness. (NAU)

Rejoicing, Dancing, Laughing, Celebrating, Sabbath Rest, Sabbath Year,


Year of Jubilee – Rejoicing and Sabbath-keeping is still found in New
Test. Paul again and again admonishes us to rejoice. And even points
out the joy is a sign of the kingdom.

D. God loves to party!

Deuteronomy 12:22-29 (tithe for party)

Festivals or Parties
Neh 8:9-12
9 Then Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest {and}
scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people,
"This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep." For all
the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law.
10 Then he said to them, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and
send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to
our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for the day
is holy; do not be grieved."
12 All the people went away to eat, to drink, to send portions and to
celebrate a great festival, because they understood the words which
had been made known to them.
(NAU)

New Testaments Festivals.


Jesus first miracle takes place at a wedding feast. (John 2)
Holy Spirit comes during the midst of a great party. Pentecost.
A harvest festivals. It was a festival of good cheer, a day of joy. Free-
will offerings were to be made to the Lord <Deut 16:10>, and it was to
be marked by a liberal spirit toward the Levite, the stranger, and
orphans and widows <Deut 16:11,14>. It was day the Holy Spirit came
upon the church and caused such a stir, the world thought the
believers were drunk.

Time for Music

Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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Play is for Children
I. The best way to learn about play is to become
a child.
Luke 18:15-17
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them.
When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called
the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do
not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 I
tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like
a little child will never enter it."
NIV

Mark 10:13-16

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them,
but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was
indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do
not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 I
tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like
a little child will never enter it." 16 And he took the children in his
arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
NIV

II. What can we learn from little children?

Great scientists Johann Kepler, Albert Einstein,


Louis Pastuer compared the process of discovery
to the same excitement of a child playing.

Storytelling. Action Sheet Two.

A. One of life’s most important questions: “Why?”

B. What other things can we learn from little children?


Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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List Characteristics of Children that Christ might want us to emulate.
Group Discussion

III. Childhood conversion (Becoming a child


again).

Matt 18:3-5
"Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like
children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then
humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of
heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives
Me…”
NASU

NT:4762
strepho (stref'-o); strengthened from the base of NT:5157; to twist, i.e.
turn quite around or reverse (literally or figuratively):

A. Childlike not childish.

Contrast this with 1 Cor 13:11


11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I
reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind
me.
NIV

Tonight we’re going to turn around. We’re going to be converted to


little children.

Did the story time bring back any childhood memories. Talk about
memories and how our memories reveal who we are today. Everyone in
this room has shared two things: a time of innocence in their lives and
a time when that innocence disappeared. For some it was dramatic and
painful for others slow and gradual.

Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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We are going to do a couple exercises involving memory. I want you to
think about some of your fond memories of growing up. Talk about
parade in New Jersey.

Group Action Sheet Three

B. Returning to innocence by being born again.

Somewhere talk about God as child. See Orthodoxy Page 60 “It may be
that (God) has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and
grown old, and our Father us younger than we.” G.K. Chesterton

Read John 3.
Paul - 2 Cor 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the
old has gone, the new has come!
NIV

1 Peter 1:23-24
23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but
of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
NIV

Jesus describes the process of conversion like the process of becoming


a child again. In Christ, the innocence and vitality of youth can be
restored.

C. The cross and the hope of resurrection.

Central facet to this whole teaching.

Two interesting tensions in Jesus’ teaching.


1. You must be born again.
2. You must take up your cross.

One is about rebirth, another is about death.

This tension shows up all through the NT. Paul speaks of being a new
creation in Christ, at the same time he says, “I die daily.”

Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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The cross is the path of love. John 15:12

Return to the idea of the Trinity. The chief characteristic of the Trinity is
the flow of love between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Hypostasis - Being in Communion.

Man is created in God’s image. We were created to be in communion.

Thus Mark 12:29-31


29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: `Hear, O Israel,
the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all
your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all
your strength.' 31 The second is this: `Love your neighbor as yourself.'
There is no commandment greater than these."
NIV

As I yield to the cross in the present, I am filled fresh with the unending
love of God.

Rom 5:1-8
5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we
have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And
we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also
rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces
perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And
hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into
our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ
died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man,
though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God
demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.
NIV

Eph 3:14-19

Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole
family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of
his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit
in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through
faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may
have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long
and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that
surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the
fullness of God.
NIV

Gal 2:20-21
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives
in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who
loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of
God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died
for nothing!"
NIV

Pray for each person to return to


second childhood

Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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Psalm 19

Playing and Praying


“The world will never starve for want of wonders; but
only for want of wonder.” - G. K. Chesterton

Psalm 19 exercise.

Mark 12:29-31

29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: `Hear, O Israel,
the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all
your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all
your strength.' 31 The second is this: `Love your neighbor as yourself.'
There is no commandment greater than these."
NIV

We’ll start by looking at concrete ways we learn Love the Lord your
God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind
and with all your strength.

Our whole being.

Ps 103:1
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
NIV

Ps 9:1
I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.
NIV

Ps 35:9
Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD
and delight in his salvation.
NIV

Literally, “my bones.”


Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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I. The world of wonder proclaims God’s glory.
Discuss Psalm 19. Ask people to read their poems.

Is it possible that the God we worship likes to play?


We do not have to go very far to catch echoes of that game,
and of that dancing. When we are alone on a starlit night;
when by chance we see migrating birds in autumn
descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we
see children in a moment when they are really children;
when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the
Japanese poet Basho we hear an old frog land in a quiet
pond with a solitary splash--at such times the awakening, the
turning inside out of all values, the "newness," the emptiness
and the purity of vision that makes themselves evident,
provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.
For the world and time are the dance of the Lord in
emptiness. The silence of the spheres is the music of a
wedding feast. The more we persist in misunderstanding the
phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into
strange finalities and complex purpose of our own, the more
we involves ourselves in sadness, absurdity and despair. But
it does not matter how much, because no despair of ours can
alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic
dance which is always there. Indeed, we are in the midst of
it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood,
whether we want it or not.
Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget
ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds
and join in the dance. (296-297)

God's whole nature is rooted in wonder, love, and unending life.


He is the "Lord of the Dance." The way of play permeates night and
day. All nature joins in a dance. In the cross, we meet a God who
becomes the fool that we might join him in eternal play.

Wonder Leading to Adoration - An attitude of play responds in wonder


to all of creation. Life is magical. Just as the young child constantly
asks "Why?," we adapt this same puzzling response to all of life.

Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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Instead of always responding to questions with empirically based
answers, we open the door for wonder.

Take a Hike
Smell the Freshly Cut Lawn
Take the Long Way Home
Notice the Little Insignificant Things
Don’t Force Worship
Pause and Experience the World around You
C.S. Lewis notes for obstacles to adoration – Inattention; the Wrong
Kind of Attention (analysis over simple experience); Look at
Problem Solving Sheet

We are changed by what we behold. What are we beholding? Even in


his darkest hour. Jesus beheld the joy before him. Behold the glory
around us.

Matt 6:22-23
22 "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear,
your whole body will be full of light.
23 "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.
If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
(NAU)

Titus 1:15
15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled
and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their
conscience are defiled.
(NAU)

Spirit of Worship/Wonder directed to God in all things.


2 Cor 3:18
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of
the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to
glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
(NAU)

Col 3:17
17 Whatever you do in word or deed, {do} all in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
(NAU)
Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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If I walk in worship/wonder to God. I will behold His glory in all
things. As I behold His glory and worship Him, I will be changed into
glory. As I am changed I will change my surroundings.

II. My whole being will praise the Lord.


Imagination

Let’s go back to Psalm 19 for a minute. Talk about the transition in


Psalm 19:7-14

Consecrating our imagination. The Word of God provides a foundation


for my intuitive side.

Phil 4:4-9
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your
gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious
about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your
minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is


right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if
anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
NIV

Group Action Sheet Four

Talk about the last activity.

Now talk about use our whole being to worship God.

How do we worship with our mind? Read a poem.


How do we worship with our emotions?
How do we worship with our body?
2 Sam 6:14-16

Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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14 David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD
with all his might, 15 while he and the entire house of Israel
brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of
trumpets.
16 As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David,
Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when
she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she
despised him in her heart.
NIV

Rhythm exercise. Body

III. Learning worship from the Hebrews


A. It required conscious preparation on the part of the worshipper.
B. It encouraged private and family worship as a complement to public
worship.
C. It demanded the response of the whole person to God as Creator
and Redeemer.
D. It encouraged congregational worship that was active and
participatory.
E. It focused on the redemptive acts of God in human history (such as
the Exodus).
F. It employed symbolism to help instruct and to enhance aesthetically.
G. It followed a liturgical calendar focusing on ritual reenactment (such
as Passover).
H. It assumed that a lifestyle of obedience in service to God completed
the integrity of worship.

Thus worship involved the whole person (body, mind, emotions) and
the whole life (sacred and profane).

IV. Watching the Celtic Christians worship.


Actual prayers from a day in the life of Celtic believers:

Kindling the Fire:


I will kindle my fire this morning in the presence of the holy
angels of heaven.
God Thou kindle in my heart within
Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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A flame of love to my neighbor,
To my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all,
To the brave, to the knave, to the thrall…..

Face washing:
The palmful of the of God of Life
The palmful of the Christ of Love
The palmful of the Spirit of Peace
Triune of grace.

Making bed:
I make this bed
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,
In the name of the night we were conceived,
In the name of the night we were born,
In the name of the day we were baptized,
In the name of each night, each day,
Each angel that is in the heavens.

Milking Cow
Bless O God my little cow
Bless O God my desire;
Bless Thou my partnership
And the milking of my hands, O God.

Bless O God each teat


Bless O God each finger;
Bless Though each drop
That goes into my pitcher, O God.

Walking Prayer:
My walk this day with God,
My walk this day with Christ,
My walk this day with Spirit.
Ho! Ho! Ho! The three-fold all-kindly.

My shielding this day from ill,


My shielding this night from harm
Ho! Ho! Both my soul and my body,
Be by Father, by Son, by Holy Spirit:
Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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By Father, by Son, by Holy Spirit.

Be the Father shielding me,


Be the Son shielding me,
Be the Spirit shielding me,
As Three and as One:
Ho! Ho! Ho! As Three and as One.

Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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Creative Worship
Learning to love God with our heart and soul and mind and strength.
This is based upon a Trinitarian approach to God. We come to the
Father, through the Son, in the power of the Spirit. He leads us into
worship. He teaches us to live a life of worship. He may lead us to
new territory but will never lead us to contradict Scripture.

Four Stages of Creativity (applied to worship)

Total Immersion
Waiting
Flash
Response

General Immersion – Read John 15

1. Study the Bible. The more we know the Bible and meet Him in the
Word, the deeper He can lead us into worship.

2. Recapture Wonder at the Creation


G. K. Chesterton – “The world will never starve for want of
wonders; but only for want of wonder.”

3. Take Time for Recreation – Relax – Sabbath


4. Celebration – mini-celebrations with God – sunrise service (get up
early one day when your off, service, go back to bed)
5. Childlikeness – try things, play games – Drive into work and try to
make up songs about what you see. Sing them to God.
6. Laugh – Rejoice in the Lord always! As Rick Joyner says, “Some of us
are too serious for God.” Enjoy him. It’s not a sin to have fun with God.
Those who didn’t like their childhood; have one now with God.
7. Read/Study/Think – Active versus passive mind.
8. Observe and write down what you see.
9. Listen to the world around you.
10. Listen to people. Really listen.
11. Take risks. Dream big.
Spring of Light Ministries, Holy Play Retreat, September 22 – 23, 2000, Doug Floyd,
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Einstein – “A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything
new.” Think about the end of your life – “Uh God, I played it safe.” You
hid the one talent I gave you!
12. Don’t worry about trying to feel something spiritual.
13. Don’t be afraid of feeling something spiritual.
14. Don’t always settle for the obvious. Avoid clichés. We suffer from a
clichéd faith that speaks to the world through slogans and not real
ideas. A cliché is an idea that is dying or has already died. A cliché
does not have the power of a living idea. Don’t forget Einstein,
sometimes genius lies in asking the right questions!
15. Sing Hymns (sing ones you don’t know and make up the tune!)
16. Value Relationships. Make time to spend with people, and give
them you undivided attention.
17. Life Passionately!

Specific Immersion
Let’s say you want to expand a specific aspect of your worship;
for example, God as Creator, God as Redeemer, Beauty of God.

1. Pray About It – Ask the Holy Spirit for Help.


2. Define it – Dictionary; Bible Dictionary; Concordance
3. Dissect/Break It Down. God as Creator. He spoke. Genesis/Psalm
19/list words (God’s word/speaking/He has literally called creation into
being/creative power; God’s glory reflected in nature; God’s divine
destiny on every living thing)
4. Use/make metaphors – What is God as Creator like – an artist
painting a living mural.
5. Bombard yourself with information, experience, follow lots of rabbit
trails, waste some time in the pursuit, talk about it with other people,
watch a movie that may relate, the sky is the limit. Fishing, Hiking,
Course in Astronomy

Waiting
1. There is a Rhythm of action and non-action. Sometimes we wait
upon the Lord. Refrain from action.
Ps 27:14
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD
NASU
2. Like a good soup, take time to let your ideas simmer.
3. Or like a good meal take time for digestion.
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4. Spend some time alone resting in the Lord.

Flash
Sometimes when we least expect the Holy Spirit shows up and
explodes our spirit with life, with revelation. God made us this way.
Spirit surprises us.

Revelation comes and it may or may not look like anything you
expected. The epiphany happens and the world stands still.

He gives you new metaphors, a new dance.

He expands your understanding, and helps you to worship Him at a


whole new level of revelation.

The Bible begins to blaze with light and fire.

Response
There may be specific actions the Lord shows you. If you obey His
prompting, you make room for His Spirit to lead you into new places.

Directions on a highway. Highway of Holiness may not be a


superhighway. You must follow the signs. Directional signs. Stop signs.
Yield signs. Slow down. Business route into the heart of the city
(worship can lead me right into the middle of the action).

He made lead you to Artwork – painting, sculpting, photography, t-


shirts

He may stir you to write – poems, novels, essays

He may invite you to dance – formal or spontaneous

He may teach you drama – The Lord has often given me dramas that
help activate deep worship.

He may call you to service – Even for just one other person.

“When skills and challenge match, then flow is most likely to emerge.
At that instant, attention is fully focused on the task at hand. One sign
of this complete absorption is that time seems to pass much more
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quickly or much more slowly. People are so attuned to what they’re
doing, they’re oblivious to any distractions.” – The Creative Spirit

Hand out Exercises for Creative Worship Worksheet.

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Group Action Sheet 6

Playing with Others


We are all invited by God to discover the way of play. In “Celebration
of the Disciplines” Richard Foster says, "Let's with reckless abandon
relish the fantasy games of children. Let's see visions and dream
dreams. Let's play, sing, laugh" (198-199).

Mark 12:29-31
29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: `Hear, O Israel,
the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all
your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all
your strength.' 31 The second is this: `Love your neighbor as yourself.'
There is no commandment greater than these."
NIV

Gal 2:20-21
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives
in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who
loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of
God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died
for nothing!"
NIV

I. We are created in the image of God.


Trinity – Hypostasis – “Being in Communion”

Mark 12:31
John 15:1-12 – The Divine Flow of Love

II. True play is based on self-giving love.


Person versus Individual
True play versus false play

False Play - False play "uses" people, games, things, events, etc to
fulfill self. Unfortunately, this striving is never satisfied.
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For example, a person may spend their life working to buy things which
give them pleasure—a boat, a car, a house, etc.—and in the process of
striving fail to truly celebrate life and relationships. This form of play
can be destructive to individuals and their relationships. Much play in
American is false. Celebrating nothing and cynically mocking almost
everything.

True play is complete. It is at rest. Therefore, I am free.

You cannot enforce play. Love between a man and a women – freedom.
Freedom. Playing with God – freedom.

Freedom from, freedom to – Michelangelo and sculpting. “The best of


artists never make a creation that is not already hid in the stone, in
marble fixed, and yet the work is done by hand, which follows mind
and meditation.”

Group Action Sheet 7

III. True play is free to enter into community.


A. Home
B. Church
C. Work
A. Outreach

Jurgen Moltmann – How can we play when the world is filled with crisis?
Sudan, Kosovo, Persecution in China, Poverty, Immorality, not to
mention prophecies of the end, Y2K, Judgment.
How can we play when the world is in such trouble?
How can the angels cry Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, the
whole earth is filled with His Glory?
Our play reminds us of God glory. Our play reminds us that all things
are being restored.
Zech 8:3-5
3 "Thus says the LORD, "I will return to Zion and will dwell in the
midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and
the mountain of the LORD of hosts {will be called} the Holy Mountain.'

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4 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Old men and old women will again
sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand
because of age.
5 "And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls
playing in its streets.'
(NAU)

Group Action Sheet 8

IV. Going to play and playing as I go.

A. Playgrounds and Playtimes – Space and Time. Church


Buildings. Prayer Rooms. The idea of Sabbath. Touching all
thins with hope of Sabbath rest

The writer of Hebrews lifts the Sabbath from a weekly observance to a


whole way of life. He says, "There remains, then a Sabbath rest for the
people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his
own work." (Hebrews 4:9-10) The Sabbath not only refers to a physical
day but a spiritual concept which finds its fulfillment in Christ.
Therefore, we are encouraged to enter into God's rest. What is God's
rest? Couldn't His rest be His play.

Leisure and rest are essential elements of play. There are times when
we cease from the daily activities of work and play games or simply do
nothing--just relax. We allow God's hand to re-create us. This is the
Sabbath. It is a time of praying and playing. We rediscover the
enchantment in life.
Without these times of leisure, we begin to lose a sense of
genuine play. Our life becomes activity centered and driven. In life,
we need a rhythm of activity and non-activity. These rhythms may
operate in daily, weekly, monthly, and possibly even yearly cycles.
Each day we set aside time to rest in the Lord. To pray and play before
the Lord. Each week we set aside a day. Each month a weekend. And
each year one to two weeks. These seasons of grace allow us to
receive restoration in some areas of our life and reacquaint us with the
wonder and mystery of God's love. This love is the basis for all our
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interactions with other humans. As Merton says, "Go into the desert
not to escape other men but in order to find them in God" (Seeds of
Contemplation 53).
Recreation also embodies a sense of playing games. As children
play "hide and seek" and are delighted when they discover their
friends' hiding places; God plays "hide and seek" with us. He moves in
and out of the shadows. As we learn to play and enjoy him in the
darkness and the light, we are often surprised and delighted by his
unexpected appearing. We also become open to discovering him in
different places. Jesus said he liked to hide in the poor, weak, and
needy (Matthew 25:34-36). With a spirit of discovery, we grow open to
finding, meeting, and loving him in many different places.
B. Parties – Celebration
Acts 2 – Birth of Church during a party. Tony Campolo
My family. Birthdays. Holidays.

God invites us to dance with him, to laugh with him, to delight in him,
to worship him. A playful spirit can celebrate alone him or with others.
The celebration is often focused on the common, the ordinary. We
celebrate the raising of the sun. We celebrate the food we eat with
prayers of thanksgiving. A celebratory spirit does not take the ordinary
for granted but recognizes God's hand even in simplicity and delights
in the common blessings of daily life. The celebration may be a
solitary praise to our Creator, or it may become a community gathering
of laughter and rejoicing in God's goodness.
Throw a party.
Throw another party.
Go to a Parade. Have your own parade. Actor family puts on a family
play.
Take God on a Date. (Talent Show)

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C. Magic Words – Blessing

If we learn to develop a spirit of wonder it will change the way we


approach the Lord as well as the way we approach other people.
Angels and glory. Continuous praise of glory. Isa 6:3
3 And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the
LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory."
(NAU)

Hasidism. Sacred and Profane. Sacred and Secular. Holy and the
Ordinary.
Our blessings make room of the holy. Blessing food.
Those things that are open for God to reveal His glory and those
that aren’t.
The Holy and the not-yet-holy.
Messianic Mission. The Turning of the World to God.
“God dwells where one lets Him in.”
Work of Grace – through man as mediator. Adam. Awaken glory of
God in all things.
Asceticism/Self Denial is not holiness. But a preparation for
holiness. Holiness is making room for the glory of God to be
revealed in all things.

We are changed by what we behold. What are we beholding. Even in


his darkest hour. Jesus beheld the joy before him. Behold the glory
around us.

Matt 6:22-23
22 "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear,
your whole body will be full of light.
23 "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.
If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
(NAU)

Titus 1:15
15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled
and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their
conscience are defiled.
(NAU)

Spirit of Worship/Wonder directed to God in all things.


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2 Cor 3:18
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory
of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory
to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
(NAU)

Col 3:17
17 Whatever you do in word or deed, {do} all in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
(NAU)

If I walk in worship/wonder to God. I will behold His glory in all


things. As I behold His glory and worship Him, I will be changed into
glory. As I am changed I will change my surroundings.

D.Share with Others – Live generously.


Luke 6:37-38
38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For
with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
NIV

Give your gifts. Give praise to others. Give forgiveness. Give a listening
hear. Give time. Give our hearts. Give our homes (hospitality). Give
Cash.

E. Living Happily Ever After – Faithfulness.


Commitment. The concept of covenant. A special blessing for those
who keep covenants. Talk about ministry. And relationships. Not just
marriage. Friendships.

Josh 1:4-5
5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life.
As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor
forsake you.
NIV
Ps 12:1
Help, LORD, for the godly are no more;
the faithful have vanished from among men.
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NIV

Daniel

Group Action Sheet Nine

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