Tuesday, April 25, 2006

60 hours

60 hours. It's not very long, but a lot can happen in 3600 minutes.

You can travel through numerous, nameless towns, visit 3 communities, meet people that you never knew before. You can spend hours with loving, passionate, fun, caring people. You can laugh and cry and be moved...rocked to your foundation.

God can change your life and you can take another step closer to Him.

216,000 seconds...God can do amazing things with that much time.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


He did it again...and why do I ever doubt Him?

Some compare God to a "daddy". I didn't really have a "daddy", but I certainly understand the concept (hey I am a "daddy"). God is like no dad that I have ever heard of, certainly there are good traits in good daddies that resemble the awesome traits of God...but my God is unbelievable.

This weekend the choir that I am a part of is going on tour. During this tour we are singing a program called "Somebody's Praying Me Through". It is simply about the power of prayer. This is a program that the choir has done before I was even going to this Church and there are many songs, solos and speaking parts. Some of the people that had the speaking parts before are either not in the choir anymore or are not going on tour so I volunteered to fill in for one of those speaking parts.

It's a small one and that's a good thing, because speaking is not my forte...I like doing it, but as a stutterer it's often a challenge for me. The small part goes like this:

"When we pray, God can do awesome things that we didn't expect. In fact,
the Bible tells us He is able to do amazingly, exceedingly beyond all we can ask or imagine. People of prayer discover that."

Simple line...simple concept. Then it becomes personal.

This weekend it got hot here and my almost 20 year old heat pump stopped pumping out air conditioning. Today the technician got out to the house to see what he could do. All day (ha, since Saturday!) my wife and I have been praying hard that it would be something simple, that he could fix it and we could move on. This is really not a good time to have to think about a new HVAC system.

I got the call that he was heading to the house, so I stopped and prayed again that it would be something simple...feeling oddly OK that God would take care of us.

Later, the "verdict" came in. The compressor was shot. Now for those of you that don't know what that means...it basically means that the whole unit is in a word dead...

There it was...God's answer.

I wish I could say that I was a complete rock, but I can't. For a moment or two I questioned in the back of my mind. Why? I had faith, I felt confident...what went wrong?

Then it hit me. I had forgotten about a source of funds that we could use to pay for this. COMPLETELY forgot about it. It was readily available and fairly painless to get. We got through this...wait a minute! We didn't just get through this possible catastrophe we are going to end up better off (for a number of reasons).

What was that line again? "He is able to do amazingly, exceedingly beyond all we can ask or imagine."

Awesome God.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Rock On 2006

In May of 2004 I wrote a bit about the current state of Rock (as I see it). I asked the question, "what new groups will we be talking about in 10 or 20 years?". I was looking back at that article and thought I might revisit it:

I wasn't right about much, but I was right about a little. Foo Fighters is still our best chance at a "full-fledged" Rock band with staying power. In fact, I think that they have done some of their best work since that article in May ("One by One" is awesome).

However, the rest of my list seems to have failed us.

First of all, what happened to Hoobastank? They put together two great CDs and then...nothing. OK, so they are finally coming out with a new CD in next month, but 3 years after their sophmore release! They are still breathing, but barely.

Nickelback ends up being just overhyped... Listen to their music and it all sounds the same...it's OK, but I doubt they will be much more than a blip on the radar long term.

So who does that leave us with?

Well, Breaking Benjamin has the ability to take off where Hoobastank left things 3 years ago but they are still a "wait and see". I like their stuff, it's very edgy, but it can sometimes have too much "angst" in it (however, I have come to the conclusion that some of the best artistic work comes from raw emotion).

10 Years is a great new band with an awesome first album, but we'll have to see about their staying power. My concern about them is that they are touring with KORN...what a joke. I would have gone to see them when they came close by, but I didn't want to have to go to a KORN concert just to see them.

IMHO, real Rock is gasping for air and there are fewer and fewer new bands to breath life into it.

Learning to Fly - Part 3...Easter

OK, yesterday was "Easter Sunday". My wife and I had a conversation on Saturday about how we felt about another "relilgious holiday" at our new Church. We both agreed that it seemed like not such a big deal.

For almost all my life, I have been taught that the only celebration sanctioned by the first century Christians that we read about in God's inspired word was that of the Lord's Supper which they did weekly when they met together. So, once again ("...where the Bible is silent...") we drew the conclusion that any other celebration relating to Christ and his Church is man-contrived. This conclusion led to the next conclusion that it must be wrong, and that to the idea that to participate in such things would be to condone them and blur the lines between "right" and "wrong".


When I think back on that line of thought now it just seems...silly. Let's take that same idea, but interject a different object.

God didn't give me wings...now since he gave birds wings but not me, he must have meant for birds to fly and for me NOT to fly. Not only that but, since God didn't mean for me to fly it must be WRONG for me to fly. Also, if there are those that do fly I should not associate with them because to do so would be condoning what they do and make me look like a hypocrite.

Before you make a mockery of my illustration (it's full of holes), think about it. There is no teaching in the Bible about flying. However, in the first century and during the "Old Testament times" flight was real...for birds. So, if we go by the rule "...where the Bible is silent..." then the fact that God does not specifically state anything about human flight would automatically make it a sin. So, how is it that God-loving, God-serving people fly everyday and live with themselves?

Easter is simply another chance for us as Christians to celebrate our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. The fact that he defeated death is cruical to everything we believe and understand about Him...without it he was just a good prophet. So why not celebrate it?!? Why not allow ourselves to get emotional about what he did and remember it?

Actually, I feel a bit cheated that I am over 40 years old and I am just figuring this out.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Living by the Ocean

I love the ocean. There is just something about it that calms my spirit and renews it at the same time. I can still remember the first time I saw the ocean. It was in Biloxi, Mississippi with my mom, my brother and my grandparents on a vacation when I was about 8 or so. Since then, I have seen and enjoyed it many times and hope to do so many more times.

For me, seeing and enjoying the ocean has always been a treat because I have never lived close to it. Where I live now is the closest I have ever lived to the ocean and it's still over 4 hours away! So my experiences with the ocean have always be short and spread out, a vacation here a business trip there. However, it is always there like it's been waiting for me all along.

We have been visiting the "ocean" for sometime now, getting used to it, jumping in and feeling it's warm embrace, but keeping an eye on the shore. Now it's time to move to the "ocean" and transition from "tourist" to "local". It's an exciting time and yet another time of transition. Change is almost always exciting, but can also be unsettling and disorienting until you get your "sea legs".

I pray that God will do what he has always done, watch out for me and my family and bless us more abundantly that we can ever imagine. I pray that we will draw from his ultimate power as we make these adjustments.

Thank you Lord, for guiding us to the "ocean" and help us to embrace it and glorify you in all we do.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing
power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but
not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the
death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our
2 Corinthians 4:7-10

"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18