It usually happened at these evening services (but sometimes on a Sunday morning) when the Spirit would let loose and all manner of worship celebration would occur. Music would go on for an hour, yet it was obvious the praise band had only prepared four songs, which was why they kept playing them over and over and over—and these were short songs to begin with, choruses they called them, because they didn’t normally contain verses or bridges or pre-choruses, as are common in today’s worship songs. In an effort only jazz greats like John Coltrane and Bill Evans could appreciate, the band would beat a four-line stanza to death: One more time! “I went to the enemy’s camp …” I absolutely loved it as a kid.
A few weeks ago I wrote in “Mufasa’s Boy” how a boy needs the approval of his father, to hear the words, “I’m proud of you, Son.” Since I grew up without a father playing an active role in my life, I think I may long for that approval more than others might. But then, fatherlessness is an epidemic many in my generation are dealing with still. We fatherless grew up without dads, and now in our 30’s many are struggling as fathers.
Hedonism, the pursuit of satisfaction and happiness any way possible, doesn’t satisfy. Neither does religion, which is like stagnant water. Religion convicted her of her hedonistic lifestyle, providing her with ample guilt to keep her devoted her entire life—and empty. But the reality of guilt and the emotion of guilt must lead somewhere other than religious exercises. So she brought her guilt to Jesus, and he overturned the verdict and began the process of eradicating her burden of guilt.
I think there are two approaches we take to worship. We can worship in an attempt to get forgiveness for sins. Or we can worship out of an awareness that we’ve already been forgiven.
Sunday afternoon in our home has a feel and a sound to it. Sadly, I know too many people who fill their weekends with nonstop activity, whether because they’ve taken on too much labor and activities or don’t know how to rest. Living life with no periods. For us, Sunday afternoon is a nice three-hour period. A punctuation mark to end the week.
I don’t like lids on coffee cups. For one thing, they can be faulty, like the one Kramer had when he spilled a hot latte on himself in a movie theater. There’s really nothing that can provide the security you’re looking for in a coffee cup lid anyhow. I do, however, have a travel mug I received as a gift a few years ago. It looks like you could run it over with a backhoe and your coffee would still be nice and secure and hot. There are two things I don’t like about coffee cup lids. First, that initial sip is a tricky one. It’s hard to assess the temperature, so I often find my first attempts involve simply inhaling the fumes. Fumes? Is that right? I hated chemistry.
Last year I became a statistic. I’m sure I was already one of some sort. You probably heard of the tens of thousands who lost their jobs due to the recession, or at least under the guise of the recession. Whatever the case, I found myself with a few months, the length of my severance,…
Like Braddock, I lost my job last year. A strenuous season of ministry eventually led to considerable turmoil for our family. While I thought the outlook was improving, I was shocked the morning of October 14 when I learned I was being let go.
Eleven years ago today Cindy and I awoke in a daze. Had the previous day really happened? Yes, Cindy’s womb was empty. The first of now three, Lindsay joined our family on November 2nd a little earlier than planned—nearly three months prematurely. We’d stayed the night in a hotel, what seemed a world away from our premie, who spent her first night in the NICU at St. Joseph’s in downtown Phoenix. We made the three-hour drive from Yuma the previous morning, just eight hours after Lindsay was born. She’d taken a helicopter ride that first day of her fragile life.