More worship stuff

So today, a friend sent me this funny video regarding worship…I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.  If you’ve seen it before, join in and see it again!

Things to note: How much of this stuff that the ‘narrator’ sarcastically mentions is actually ‘taught’ in various settings? Is this what is it like in most ‘suburban’ (a.k.a. predominantly caucasian) churches with regards to dance? How do you feel about the comments on sincerity and facial expressions?

Here it is…

Look for a full on blog later this weekend.


Results and Findings

The video sets up my  long, jumbled, probably ‘full of contridictions’ thoughts

…a lot of people say, ‘who says I can’t do______?’ A lot of others say, “God says you can’t do_______’. What many of them seem to mean is (in my opinion), ‘I say you can’t do_________ because God says so….’

Read on if you like….

Last week on my Twitter & Facebook, I asked a couple of questions surrounding the topic of Christianity and social drinking. I did so to have some opinions to help me prepare for my small group night at Resonate, APC’s post-high group which I lead. I thought, ‘hmm, this is harmless and most people don’t really care.

Boy was I wrong.

People really care. There were numbers of comments left on my wall from young adults, old adults and older adults, each with a different opinion. Some were for it in moderation, some felt that drinking opened the floodgates to every sin imaginable, some thought that the topic itself should be reserved for high school students and that I was a dummy for putting it up. Some people used bible verses, some used cultural references, some used personal examples of family members & friends who started with one drink and then ended up in Vegas stripping (okay, the Vegas part was an exaggeration but it was going there). What I assumed as a short Q & A, built over a few days into a deep discussion about personal convictions. Which is good. We each have personal convictions based on our relationship with God and our own experiences that pull us to or from one side to the next, which isn’t a bad thing. The bad thing is when we try to argue someone to our ideology or belief.

We do it with our faith. We argue with someone of a different faith OR someone with no faith until they say, ‘well, i guess you win so, I’ma become a Christian now.’ Then we jump up and down, singing the praises of the King and how he led them to himself. We fail to realize that for some (and not all…), if you can ‘argue’ them in then someone can argue them out. The media is great at that.

Buy this. NO. Buy that. Pepsi. Coke. Starbucks. Timmy’s. Toyota. Honda. Taylor. Gaga. Man U. Chelsea. Jacob. Edward. CSI. CSI NY. CSI Miami. Obama. NOT Obama. Etc. Etc. What up wit that??!

We are the kings and queens of changing our minds depending on the argument and idea. And if someone has their own idea, we feel it is our job to stop them dead in their tracks.

I worry about that because I have high school students who I’ve lead and I wonder now, “have I helped them make godly decisions for themselves or have I given them rules to follow, without compromise?” Are we helping people hear the voice of God and know the conviction of the Holy Spirit or are we creating guilt-ridden people, who when faced with a ‘wrong’, will turn away from it only to turn back because they feel bad? Now, I’m not slinking away from my responsibilities to teach and admonish people through the Word of God. What I am saying is that out of my or anyone’s teaching, the Holy Spirit plays a role in speaking to and changing a heart. That’s not my job. It can’t be. I’m not God. And I’m not that persuasive.

A buddy of mine looks at things like this and says,” the question isn’t about right or wrong but about purity. Can you do this and still be pure?” Tough question, because we as people rationalize purity to fit our standard of living…and we look for lines to justify what we can and can’t do. But a good question, none the less. The thing is, I know people who drink socially and I would never question their heart for God, intentions or effectiveness.  Never. And those same people are wise to know where and when and who. Meanwhile, I know people who don’t do anything ‘wrong’ by Christian standards but things could be ‘questioned’.

Are there things that are wrong in the eyes of God? Yes and if you’re a believer, you know what they are based on the Word. Are their things that are grey? Of course or I wouldn’t have wasted a blog to share my broken thoughts (which someone will read and then try to argue with me about…sad yet predictable). It’s those grey areas that we need to talk through and learn through. And in learning about them, we learn about each other and how unique we all are and how we’re each attaining for God. Romans 14 reminds us to avoid judging and condemning those who aren’t where ‘we are’ but it also says at the end that if we normally wouldn’t do something and then we suddenly do, (i.e. drinking for example), then we are sinning…that’s a good chapter for groups to chat about in their own context.

Our post high small group was great because our chat wasn’t about right and wrong but about how can we respond to certain scenarios when they are brought to us. How can we be Christ to someone who does things we don’t agree with. How do we navigate through universities and work places when people do things we don’t agree with? How can we be effective while still being accepting? Those are the main questions, friends and readers. Our society doesn’t look at things the way we do. Common-law families are the norm (even in churches…lol), drinking is normal (even in churches…), clubbing is the norm (even in churches…for outreach…). So if it’s normal for them, do we stand on a soapbox, like the old Holiness movement days and condemn? Do we simply live and hope they see our example and not think of us as monks and nuns? Do we invite them to presentations via mail?

So many questions…yet it seems we’d rather spend time drawing up lines for us to live by.

Sadly, I’ve lost my ruler.

Side note: We care SO much about the right and wrong about alcohol but we don’t care about gluttony or laziness or small white lies…funny what we choose to crusade against.

Worship Thought

Last week, a buddy of mine sent me this video of a youth movement in the states engaged in a worship set. It was quite eye opening to say the least bit. So I’m posting it here on my blog for you to observe (it’s 10 mins long) and comment on. Some will be offended. Some will think this is where we need to be going. Others may be on the fence. Here it is:

Let me say this: Obviously, this church/movement was fine with it because they taped it and put it online. They have no problem with it theology-wise, music-wise, even if they seem to not BE wise. Are we overreacting? Should WE look like this? I’ll save my opinion for a later date (those of you who know me know what I would say/think). Hopefully we’re all able to simply learn something from our friends down south, regardless of how we feel.

I plan to actually write a new blog sometime this week.

The Result of Honest Sacrifice

This morning I woke up with a severe pain in my left arm, a reminder of the choice I made to get my h1n1 shot. I’m still not excited about the fact that I got it (I never get the flu shot either) but it was about Eliana more than me. I took the shot to make sure she wouldn’t get sick (she got hers too and took it like a champ, while adults were crying).
I would do anything to protect my family, from taking a shot, to pulling a secret service and literally taking a shot. I love them more than anything in the world. Last night, I took Ellie to visit our good friends, Keith and Sharon Preston, who are the perfect example to me of love and devotion.
Keith and Sharon have been married since their early 20s and are older than that now (this isn’t a gossip site so you won’t know their age!) with kids and grandkids. Keith would do anything for his Sharon and vise-versa. It’s so fun hanging with them and seeing them interact with each other and our daughter. My goal in life is to be that couple to someone else when we get older and that only comes from sacrifice, from putting Becca and Ellie ahead of myself.
So this morning, I welcome the pain in my arm and the realization that Becca took all the covers while I slept…it’s all for her anyways:)
Thanks God for reminding me today that love can’t function outside of sacrifice.

Happy Birthday Sesame Street

Growing up, I loved watching sesame street. There was no one like Grover, Elmo, Big Bird and Gordon among the other characters. But even more so, it was the SONGS! I would sing these songs over and over as a kid and still hum to them as an adult. Now with Eliana around, it’s fun to rewatch some classic skits (now in HD!) and relive those memories.
Today, SS is 40 years old and to celebrate, here’s a classic track!

Story – How We Affect It

On the way home from a conference, Becca and I talked for a while about some of our closest friends and why we care about them so much. We are blessed to have people in our lives who have walked with us through moments of severe difficulty, helping us get through the mud of life. And hopefully, we’ve done the same for them during there tougher times.
Becca is a great judge of character. She is honest, yet fair with everyone she meets. She’s not going to say, “I don’t like them” without just cause. She is great that way. She always opens the book as opposed to simply looking at the cover. She reminds me that everyone has a story that contributes to who they are at that exact moment. The person who is rude at one point may in fact have a reason that goes beyond what we can see or understand. As a leader, it helps to remember that. Everyone has a story. As a husband, I have to remember that Becca’s story lines up to make her react to specific things that I may do and not find to be a big deal. As a dad, I am contributing to Eliana’s story, for better or worse. SCARY! As a guy who is rude to a random stranger who bump into me or cause me to wait for my tall latte, I’ve contributed to their story…with every word we are contributing editors to everyone we know…

So how are you contributing to the stories around you? Are you a footnote/endnote? Bad chapter? Recurring character? Are you even NAMED? I want my life to leave a lasting impact on everyone I meet, not for my own ego but to be a positive move forward as opposed to a move back. Hopefully we all do…

Check this video out of a kid who wrote a great story: