Sunday, July 27, 2008

We had a guest preacher today. Wade Hodges did have power point for his extremely well-thought-out comments on the book I mentioned earlier, "unChristian," but this cartoon might also have been a good visual aid. The good folks at the Garnett Road Church of Christ are blessed if today was typical of what Wade has to offer.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Addie is now 9!

If you don't know this little girl, I just have to tell you, she is an absolute hoot! If you do know her, the chances are pretty good that you are listening to her tell some incredibly long account of some event you already witnesses or know about and you are rolling your eyes right

You also know exactly where you stand with her. She wears every emotion out on her sleeve for the world to see, which is refreshing. I can say that because much more often than not those emotions are sweet. Even when they're not sweet, they can be funny. Before she learned how to talk she had words she would repeat in situations consistent with how some might use expletives. If something or someone made her mad she would point at us and say "BOTZ!" and we would know we were being cussed out in baby language. She will quite possibly be the most emotionally healthy person I know since she holds nothing in. She drew a cartoon the other day that was an absolute scream (maybe I'll post it later) and she just explained matter of factly that it was just one of the ways she gets her anger out. Well, more power to her. (I tend to hold a grudge and I know that doesn't work.)

Anyway, Addie, I am so glad you were born. You make things fun and interesting everywhere you go. We love you, stinkpot. Happy Birthday.


Ev'rybody's gonna have religion in glory...

Remember that song? Maybe that is another one of those songs some people would refuse to sing if it was in the worship order. I'm pretty sure we don't need to worry about that.

I'm trying to read some secular non-fiction right now, but on my not-too-distant radar is the book "Un-Christian." I suspect it will be yet another account of how Christians are getting it wrong. Certainly we are, but sometimes it starts to feel like the ones who love pointing that out feel like perhaps they are the only ones getting it right and I know that ain't happenin' either. Nobody has a monopoly on forgiveness and understanding. Maybe we should quit telling people how to achieve salvation and let Jesus do it. I dunno.


Here's what this week has been like so far. At least it's almost over. Wait. Crap! It's just Tuesday morning...

The news on Ed is not that good. He's been in an induced coma for several days and breathing with a respirator. They were going to take him off the respirator last night and see how he progressed.

Our A/C is on the fritz again. At least it's only supposed to be 100 degrees today. Seriously, we are blessed to have A/C at all, let alone two units in our house so we at least have a cool retreat while we wait for the other one to be fixed. That's just the kind of glass-half-full guy I am.

Lots of changes at work. The future looks a little cloudy with a 60% chance of depressing situations.

Many of you have asked about Dad. He seems to be doing pretty well, but his vital counts are getting progressively worse. No specific word as to why, but perhaps we'll know more soon.

Carry on crazy people!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Prayer Request

Somewhat pursuant to my last post, one of my favorite quotes contains the line, "God is God. I dethrone Him in my heart if I demand He act in ways that satisfy my ideas of justice."

I read The Shack a month or so ago. While the imagery was a little beyond where my mind usually dares to tread, the sentiment tracks right along with where I am. I do not pretend to comprehend the mind of God. I really think that if I did begin to think I understood why certain things happen I would (if not dethrone Him) take Him down a notch and elevate myself quite a few notches. I'm just not prepared to do that just yet. So, I'll just rely on the themes of God as revealed through scriptures, especially through those scriptures wherein He reveals Himself in earthly form. Those themes point to a God who is LOVE (I don't exactly get that, but I'm trying) and who wants His kingdom to be established through justice (again, trying) . This does not seem to be a God who revels in pulling the rug out from under us. It does, however, seem to be consistent with a God who wants to take on our struggles. But even in this case, it is not so much that he takes them away from us as He shares them with us and bears them with us.

On the other hand, if we start thinking that God takes things away from us in the sense of things we own, then we may have missed the point about who actually owns anything. If we have relenquished all we have to God (how noble of us since everything is His anyway), if we are living lives of sacrifice to God, how would we own anything He could take? And yet, things happen in our lives that make us feel like we are, in fact, facing struggles we wish He would take or losing things (people, status, belongings) we wish we could keep.

One of those things is going on in Kendra's family right now. Her step-dad, Ed, was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Monday we went to Lubbock to hang out with the family while Ed had surgery. Sadly, while they were in surgery they found a great deal more cancer than they had originally expected. His pain coming out of surgery was also pretty severe. Pathology reports on the additional biopsies performed with the surgery are not in yet.

Kendra's mom, Marilyn, finally left the hospital to get some sleep the other night. During the night, however, someone broke into her car and took her portfolio holding all of their credit cards, social security cards, ID and several hundered dollars cash. Obviously she did not intend to leave such things in the car, but she was understandably distracted.

Anyway, it has clearly been a tough week and we fear tough days lie ahead as well. So if you have a minute, lift up Ed and the family. Depending on where you come down on the last post, you may be asking for God to take away Ed's infirminty or asking that God not take away Ed. But either way, I hope you also remember, "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I Am Not A Worship Leader

I am not a worship leader...

but I play one on stage where my family and I worship.

That's pretty much the truth. I love leading worship and I love worshipping, but truth is not lost on me and the truth is that I know some awesome worship leaders and I am not fit to carry their sandals. To be fair, I have never tried to pass myself off as some worship guru. I just met the opportunities that came along. With that as a backdrop, I would not say that I have had any formal preparation for worship leading beyond applied experience. Consequently, things occasionally come up that are a little more challenging than one might expect or hope. Oh, they may occasionally be musical in nature but that is to be expected. The ones that are more intriguing are the ones that involve differences in personality or opinions or things like that.

Sunday, we had one of those intriguing ones involving one of my favorite songs, "Blessed Be Your Name." I had two (maybe three) praise team members inform me they had theological issues with that song and would probably not sing for a portion of it. So, here you go. What do you think about the bridge of that song which contains the following phrase:

You give and take away.

Now this can be argued on many points. First, someone said it was not scriptural. Next someone said it was just wrong to say that God takes away. And finally, a few mentioned that the proper interpretation of that phrase has nothing to do with the first two points. I realize that failing to post regularly has rendered my blog almost readerless, (well, that and poor writing about a boring person) but I still wonder how others might react or think about this song.

How did the song go? Well, I noticed several team members glancing at each other while we sang it so I did not try to look around and see who was singing and who wasn't. Other than that, I concentrated on the parts of the song with which I was in total agreement and praised God. I won't say more than that because I don't want to influence this discussion. So, tell me what you think.