Sunday, October 25, 2009

100.1 Degrees

I did something very unusual today; I called in sick to work.

On a Sunday.

A friend called this afternoon and told me that she didn't really notice that I wasn't there.

That's good.


David's been sick since Friday afternoon with a fever and congestion; some variance of the mess that's going around this county like crazy. I'm not sure whether it's H1N1 or a virus or a cold or what - but he's sick. Last night he woke me up around 3:00 AM with crazy jibberish and tears and cold sweats. It scared me; I had read up on H1N1 last night just to be sure I knew what to look for - just in case - and they made mention of possible neurological issues along with the respiratory challenges of this illness to children.

At that point, I knew I would stay with him, although I had already made plans for somebody else to cover for me this morning so that I could lead worship while David stayed home. I changed my mind.

I called some key folks at 6:00 AM to let them know that adjustments would have to be made.

They adjusted, I stayed home and watched David sleep until noon and was at complete peace with my decision.

The more I let go, the more I learn. Life goes on without me.

Church goes on without me.

There are days when I appreciate that. Today was one, when my son was snuggled against me, sleeping off his illness and feeling safe.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We Have A Relationship Now

I got one of these today.

I feel so incredibly blessed.

And inspired to create.

It's interesting that a piece of machinery can evoke such a response; but this one does.

There are musical and photographic and film projects lurking in my head that I intend to coax out, with the help of this lovely little glowworm.

I've wanted a Mac laptop for a long time.

Seems like the older I get, the more I am inclined to appreciate quality. Maybe that happens naturally as you mature.

I'm learning to value - and invest in - the best of the best.

Applications abound.

Tonight, let's limit it to the MacBook Pro.

Woo hoo!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why Your Spiritual Life Matters

"We like to make a distinction between our private and public lives and say, “Whatever I do in my private life is nobody else’s business.” But anyone trying to live a spiritual life will soon discover that the most personal is the most universal, the most hidden is the most public, and the most solitary is the most communal. What we live in the most intimate places of our beings is not just for us but for all people. That is why our inner lives are lives for others. That is why our solitude is a gift to our community, and that is why our most secret thoughts affect our common life.

Jesus says, “No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15). The most inner light is a light for the world. Let’s not have “double lives”; let us allow what we live in private to be known in public." - Henri Nouwen

I believe this to be true.

The privilege of speaking on Sunday morning and revealing the truth about my past continues to resonate with me. Truth-telling is healing.

This process has been long; it began years ago and culminated in many ways with Sunday's talk. But it continues still. Countless people have contacted me via email and Facebook to raise their hand, to say, "Me too!", to get something off of their chest, to tell me about further conversation that happened in their family.

If you are one of those people, how I wish you knew how much company you had!

I continue to need to read words like Nouwen's above, and to be reminded that every day must be lived with intentionality. Walking in the light is a choice.

HT to Cynthia, my blogging friend, who wrote about her weekend here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Giants, They Fall

Giants do die
The bigger they are, the harder they fall

Last year, my kids turned me on to radio station 104.7 here in Richmond. I love turning it on and finding new (to me) songs that have some powerful messages.

Giants, they die
Just walk around your Jericho wall

I get stuck sometimes, caught listening to the same music, reading the same blogs, talking to the same people - forgetting that the world we live in is populated with vastly different people and ideas and styles of communication.

Now we come in Your name
And we stand on Your word
What is loosed in the heavens
Will be loosed on earth
Let God arise - giant, die!

And my life sometimes reflects just that - a boring regurgitation of what's familiar to me. Sometimes I catch it in my daily routine - other times, when I'm doing things that are more "spiritual".

Your praise will bring down strong holds
When you pray, you will see miracles
Just pray when things seem impossible
And the King of Glory will show His glory

So, yesterday I spent some time with a friend. She's facing some challenging circumstances in this season of life. We talked about practical matters, about future plans, about spiritual growth, about our passion for our friendship. Her attitude is great - she is ever the optimist, looking forward and upward, always able to see the positive, trusting that God is going to meet every need. She is inspirational in her ability to hold on to hope and to persevere.

But she's got some tough stuff going on.

So we talked, and I listened, and I prayed for her, and I continued to pray for her after we parted company.

When you praise/when you praise
When you praise they gotta come down
When you worship/when you worship
When you worship they gotta come down
When you shout/ just shout
When you shout they gotta come down

And this morning, on the way to my early breakfast meeting, this song that I heard yesterday on 104.7 came back into my head. Over and over and over. Odd, because I only heard it once - fleetingly - and yet it was firmly implanted in my brain.

And God reminded me that my perspective is oh so limited sometimes. Too many times. I get stuck in my way of prayer and care and concern and my outlook and I miss something awesome.

So, friend - can I have a do-over? (Yeah - ANOTHER one!) Can I just say this to you?

"Giants do die - the bigger they are, the harder they fall!"

That's for my friend - and for all of us. Whatever you are facing, no matter the challenge before you, our faith informs us of this: God works. And this song reminds me - when we worship, when we praise, when we shout - when we let God arise, those giants - no matter what they are - they gotta come down.

What are you facing today? Illness? Fear? Financial challenges? Frustration? Whatever your giant is - keep this in mind.

They gotta come down.

For my friend, and for anybody else who needs it.

Embedding is disabled, but do yourself a big favor and click over here to get a shot of inspiration.

(And just for the record, I'm watching this over and over and over and over at the office, driving my coworkers nuts, but I'm having a dancing good time.....)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

"I tend to be a little suspicious when I hear someone refer to large, vague categories of people. We often speak of “the poor” and “the rich,” as though those groups had unionized and were meeting regularly to decide policy and organize action committees. “If only the rich would be more generous,” one person bemoans, while a another says, “If only the poor would take advantage of their opportunities.” I’ve got news for you. The rich and the poor will never act in one accord because there are no such groups. There are only people. Some are rich, some are poor, most are in between, and all of them are individuals. And in the end, I believe that loving individual people is our first and highest calling."

Via Milton's blog, from Gordon's blog.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wine Or Grape Juice?

Michael Hyatt tweeted this quote this morning. I found it thought-provoking, and for some wild reason, it brought a huge smile to my face.

Why Jesus Used Wine Instead of Grape Juice
"Unfermented grape juice is a bland and pleasant drink, especially on a warm afternoon mixed half-and-half with ginger ale. It is a ghastly symbol of the life blood of Jesus Christ, especially when served in individual antiseptic, thimble-sized glasses.

“Wine is booze, which means it is dangerous and drunk-making. It makes the timid brave and the reserved amorous. It loosens the tongue and breaks the ice, especially when served in a loving cup. It kills germs. As symbols go, it is a rather splendid one.”
— Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Setlist 10.4.09

What a day at church today.

It's the second week of our WIRED series (if you don't yet have a devotional book, pick one up at the office this week or at the resource table at church).

Our community sadly is mourning the loss of Charlie Green, a fine man and passionate community servant. Because his funeral would be at the high school this afternoon (also our Sunday morning home), we made a few changes to our plans and shortened the second service considerably in order to accommodate the set up needs for the funeral.

We did not bring in the incredible set that our design team put together last week; just kept things bare today, with a minimal band. We also made a last minute change to the closing song to better connect the end of the message. I have to give major props to the band, who didn't blink when I brought them a new chart this morning. It's an amazing gift to work with such talented people who also have their hearts in the right place.

Here's what we did today:
Preservice: Rain Down - David Crowder This was extra special because Elijah Schiarelli emailed us a loop he created to open the song. He's away at college, but he was with us in spirit today. Great song, great loop, great way to walk in.
Lift Him Up - Martha Munizzi Love, love, LOVE this song. Inspired by seeing Bruce Hornsby live at The National, I had a blast playing for Sandy. I think we managed to rock this song to bits. One of my ALL-TIME favorite worship pieces.
scripture As I underscored on the grand, Angie read an excerpt from Isaiah 53, originally planned to support that passage later in the message. It ended up getting cut from the message, but it was a beautiful segue into the next tune.
Jesus Messiah - Chris Tomlin This tune seems to be a winner across the board - singable, Biblical, true. Powerful.
How He Loves - Jon Mark McMillan If you made it to the 9:30 service, you got to hear Matt Turner lead this tune (we lean into the David Crowder version). It was awesome. We had to cut it from the second service due to time - but it will reappear in the very near future.

Thirsty During the offering time, we showed this short video during first service (due to time constraints, we pulled the vid for second service. If you were at PCC today for the 11:00 service and missed it, you can check it out here).
Worth It All - Rita Springer A great song to close the message and emphasize the point: it is worth it all, no matter what, in light of Jesus.

There are days when I really, really love my church - the experience, the teamwork, the unity, the worship we offer. today was one. Don't get me wrong - I am always grateful for the faith community that is Powhatan Community Church. But today was unique, from the musical team to the set up and tear down crew that worked so hard, with such great attitudes.

It was, indeed, a very good day.

This post is part of the Sunday Setlist Carnival hosted by Fred McKinnon. Hop on over to Fred's blog to find out what other churches did today...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How To Read The Bible

Read a great post today by Kem Meyer. She lists her suggestions for the top five places to start reading the Bible.

~Acts ... to learn about the Church
~James ... essential wisdom for daily living
~Ecclesiastes ... an expose of the arrogant and ignorant expectations we fall victim to
~Proverbs ... practical quotes, sayings and images for the here and now

I thought it was great, concise advice. What do you think?

Read Kem's entire post here.