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OOPS

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

What a shame! Maybe I ought to say, “What a shame we make mistakes.” The one good thing is that we all do it. No one stands alone. I’m not talking about sin.  We all do that as well. I mean, mistakes. Forgetting to do something. Failing to do something. It wasn’t blatant. Inadvertent might be a better word.

I did that. Just yesterday. Since the first of the year I have posted a music video which tells a story or a truth every Sunday/Monday. I failed to do that today. I know you are extremely disappointed. I can see it in the tears which roll down your cheeks even as you came here to watch. I’m so sorry I ruined your day. But then again, if watching a video I post is the highlight of your day I think I would be correct in saying, “You need a life.”  🙂  I mean, I’m honored I would have that much influence but…

Anyway, Saturday evening I received an email from Tami (my oldest in case you don’t know) and she said, “I was searching Apple music and saw this song. I thought it would fit.” Now…even as I post this I have to say I am not a fan of Rend Collective. Ryan, our youth pastor, thinks they are fantastic. But what does he know? He’s 1/2 my age (literally) and likes weird music (rap included). I, on the other hand, have the most excellent taste in music. 🙂  Anyway, I thought I would honor Tami in this post by including this song.

Enjoy. And you should be able to figure out why she thought it appropriate.

Refreshing

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

This past Friday night I honored Jo.

Now…before you get to thinking, “My. my, what a great husband,” let me tell you how I did. You may also change your mind from “what a great husband” to “what a cad.” Okay…maybe not that bad, but you may change your mind.

Friday is my day off. It was anything but a day off as we had a chiropractor appointment, had time to eat lunch and then headed to Terre Haute (almost an hour away) for a funeral visitation of a fine, godly man who died quickly from cancer. His son owns the Nissan dealership where I buy my vehicles. Anyway, we rushed back after that to go to the local theater to see a movie.

A movie I had no desire to see whatsoever. But one she wanted to see. I wanted to honor her so I went.

How was I supposed to know I would come away refreshed? Laughing? Feeling good? And wanting to see it again?  Yeah…I wanted to honor her with the wrong attitude.  But I am so glad I did!!! Some of her movies/musicals I cringe at seeing (like Beauty and the Beast) but this is one time I chose to go.

The movie?  Actually a musical. Here’s the big moment… The Greatest Showman. Exceptional movie with fantastic music. The core meaning of the movie stands out: All lives matter.  Hmmm seems like I know SOMEONE who taught us that.

My song for today? Here is one of them from the movie. Please take the time to listen and read the lyrics as you do.  In the movie the character she plays has PCOS. Hers manifested itself in a full beard. The lyrics speak even louder when you know that.

We might actually go see it again this afternoon. Hard to beat a free movie.

Religion

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

One of the values of my new blog, Be Transformed,  is the emphasis it places on grace. Actually, since it focuses on the daily devotions found in New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp, it is really only fair to say NMM places an emphasis on grace. I do invite you to join me there-not only in the discussion but also in the daily reading.

But this post is not a plug for Be Transformed.  It may appear that way, but it really isn’t. However…  🙂  Back in October I read a devotion by Derwin Gray called A Never-Ending Climb. I thought it was really good so I clipped it for future use. I saw it again today and decided it was a good one to use today:

Religion, or works-based righteousness, paints a picture of a god sitting atop a high peak, waiting for us to scale the mountain through our good behavior or adherence to religious principles. The more “good” we do the closer we come to approaching our god. If we do something bad, however, the god on top of the mountain turns Zeus-like and throws a lightning bolt to strike us and knock us back down the mountain. After the electric shock wears off and our singed hair stops smoking, we dust ourselves off, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and start the long trek all over again.

Long story short: the trek of works-based righteousness is a never-ending hill climb. One step up and two back. That to me is what religion is like. To give another picture it is like the hamster in the wheel. “‘Round and ’round it goes, where it stop nobody knows.”

Get off the treadmill. Be done with works-based religion. Get on the GRACE track.

Sea

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

It is easy to feel somewhat insignificant. I believe it is often at the root of much of what ails people, even to the point of taking their own lives. It is sad so many have gotten to the point of not caring. I ache each time I hear of someone who finds their life so overwhelming or so trivial or so uninspiring that they decide it isn’t worth living. Frankly, we haven’t helped that out very much. We idolize people who shouldn’t (like no one should be). We cast aside those who appear to be “less than worthy” of our attention. We lose sight of people being important, no matter who they are. We use people and then wonder why in the world they end up lost and in a world of hurt.

The Christ-follower has the greatest message in the world…the message of a loving God who gave His only Son to give meaning and purpose to life-to lives deemed insignificant. Sometimes I want to shout it from the housetops or take someone by the collar (in love of course… 🙂 ) or look someone straight in the face and say, “You don’t have to do this. You don’t have to feel this way. I know Someone who loves your brokenness and has a way to make you whole.”

For my song this week I want to share an old one from around 2003. I’m on a Kutless kick right now and if I was to choose my favorite song by them it would be the one I’m asking you to listen to. I hope you will take a moment to listen to and read the lyrics. YOU MATTER! YOU ARE IMPORTANT! BUT SO ARE ALL THOSE OTHERS IN THE SEA OF FACES.

ChristmasEve

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

 

Over the past two weeks I have been featuring the music of our Christmas Eve morning worship.  I’d like to share with you in this post all the music we will be doing that morning. I’m going to repost the links to the special songs which will be sung so it will all be in one place. I wish copyright laws were not as they were because then I could tell you we were recording the whole service and you could listen on podcast. But we are unable to do that so I’ll just have to tell you what is going to be sung.

By the congregation (not in order):

Joy to the World (not the Three Dog Night version) 🙂

Silent Night

O Come All Ye Faithful

Messiah with a little bit of help from Hanna and the worship team

Adore

O Holy Night (Note: we did these two songs back-to-back this past Sunday and it was extraordinary! Talk about worship!!)

Special Music:

Noel sung by Hanna

Heaven Everywhere sung by Hannah

Mary Did You Know? sung by Diana

Breath of Heaven sung by Kaedance

Light of the World sung by Marge

We will also have an instrumental trio playing Hallelujah and Silent Night (with the worship team and congregation joining in).

I truly wish you could join us for the celebration. We owe a debt of thanks to Bill & Suzie Abram the owners of the Abram Farm Event Venue. They are allowing us to use it at a greatly reduced price…FREE!

May your Christmas celebration be one which is joy-filled and God-honoring.

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

 

 

 

Breath

Monday, December 18th, 2017

One of our teenagers sang a couple years ago. Scared. Nervous. Fairly new to singing, at least outside her home. She has grown up into a beautiful young lady with a lovely smile, a more “open” personality, and more active singing role in the school choir.

Two years ago she sang Breath of Heaven and did a lovely job. After two years of more public singing and some voice lessons (from Hanna), Kaedence will be singing this Christmas Eve morning. I have asked her to sing Breath of Heaven again. I’m looking forward to it!  Here is the song she will be singing in case you haven’t heard it before.

What a difference a breath makes!

Messiah

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

In an effort to slow down some last week and over the next couple of weeks, I’m continuing my “musical” posts. No, it is not me singing. You DON’T want that. 🙂

One of our young ladies, Hanna, has already been featured in the post Noel. She will be singing that as a solo. She will also be leading our worship team in another song which has become a favorite of ours. It is called Messiah. Personally, I like Hanna’s version better than this one, but this is the original.

Messiah: Long-awaited. Longed for. Desperately needed. Here for all.

Noel

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without songs. Old songs. New songs. Classics. Soon-to-be-classics. I’m going to do something different over the next two weeks. Because my schedule is whacked (and with Christmas it should slow down right?) I’ve decided to take a writing “break” so to speak. But I still want to maintain my presence here and also “bless” people. So…here is the deal.

On Christmas Eve morning our church family will be meeting at another facility. Our auditorium is way too small for our normal crowd. Normally in two services, we have gone to one service December through February for various reasons, and after the first two weeks, there is no doubt in my mind we will not have enough room. Unless, of course, we have a blizzard then we will have all the room in the world. (I’m praying we don’t). Anyway, this past week I spoke with our new neighbors, Bill & Suzie Abram, who have built an event center called Abram Farms Event Center. It is used for weddings, receptions, and all sorts of gatherings. Suzie has been so gracious to allow us to use it for our Christmas Eve morning worship.  To make things even better? She is allowing us to use it FREE of charge!!

I decided to do something different that morning long before we found that out. I am not preaching (some wanted to stand and clap when I announced that. I dispatched my security team) 🙂 🙂 Just kidding, of course. We are going to have a magical, musical Christmas Eve morning worship. Congregational singing. Special music by our own people. Families will be together that morning. We want to pack the barn (house)! My plan is to share with you some of the music we will be hearing and singing that morning.

Hanna O’Neal will be singing a new song called Noel. You can find it being sung by Lauren Daigle on Chris Tomlin’s new CD called “Adore.”  Here are two versions: one is just lyrics while the song is being sung; the other is a live version of Lauren singing it. Funny: I have not always been a fan of her singing, but she won me over big time with this song.  I guarantee you will fall in love with this song.

Otherwise

Monday, November 13th, 2017

I used the following poem in my sermon yesterday. I think it says what needs to be said without a bunch of commentary. It was written by Jane Kenyon and was quoted in Alter Ego by Craig Groeschel (pages 151-152)

I got out of bed on two strong legs.

It might have been otherwise.

I ate cereal, sweet milk, ripe, flawless peach.

It might have been otherwise.

I took the dog uphill to the birch wood.

All morning I did the work I love.

At noon I lay down with my mate.

It might have been otherwise.

We ate dinner together at a table with silver candlesticks.

It might have been otherwise.

I slept in a bed in a room with paintings on the walls, and planned another day just like this day.

But one day, I know, it will be otherwise.

Kenyon wrote this poem in 1993, upon learning that her husband, Donald Hall, had cancer. Ironically, it was Kenyon, not Hall. who died a year later after a fierce and swift battle with leukemia. “Otherwise” came unexpectedly. But Jane Kenyon didn’t miss the blessings of God in each day. She learned the art of gratitude.

As I said, no commentary needed. Enjoy the blessing of today!!

Integrity

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

Part of my sermon Sunday was on being Authenticity-Minded. That brought in the subject of the title:

INTEGRITY

When I was studying I ran across a couple of quotes which said volumes to me and, of course, used:

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway. Mother Teresa

Another one came across loud and clear:

Integrity doesn’t come in degrees: low, medium, or high. You either have integrity or you don’t. Tony Dungy

It is never easy being real. Or honest. Or vulnerable. Or a person of integrity. Tragically we live in a world where people are more shocked by a display of integrity than the lack of it. More and more people are surprised when someone does something right or out of the ordinary to set things right than when someone fails.

Authenticity involves our integrity. Practicing integrity means our behavior matches our beliefs. But keep this in mind: personal integrity is not the same thing as your reputation. Your reputation is who other people think you are. Your integrity (or lack of it) is who you really are.

Craig Groeschel wrote a book called Alter Ego. In it he tells a story of when his golf coach caught him stealing a golf ball from a miniature golf course and kicked him off the team.  He said, “If you’ll steal a golf ball, you’ll steal other things.” After some pleading on Craig’s part, the coach took him outside to talk and said words Craig says he will never forget:

If you have integrity, that’s all that matters. And if you don’t have integrity, well…that’s really all that matters.

Wise, wise words. And in my mind, that about sums it up.  Any thoughts?