“For Crying Out Loud!”

Once again our liturgical year has come full circle as we enter another Advent.  It almost seems unreal that it was a year ago that we were preparing for the coming of the New Born King with our readings, studies and songs.  Yet here we are, ready to embark once again on a journey to the manger.  The prophet Isaiah has some very profound words to describe what we should be doing during Advent.

A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Continue reading

Chasing the American Dream vs. Taking Time to be Holy… A video follow-up

This is a video post of “The American Dream” by Casting Crowns.  I have posted this to Facebook a few times but think that it’s a great follow up to last week’s blog post about “Taking Time to Be Holy.”  Being a father, mother, child, neighbor and friend provide many opportunities to share Holiness with the world.  Are we spending our time chasing the American Dream or are we finding ways to have balance and sharing ourselves with those around us.

Spiritual Growth… A Journey of Faith and Fun

Today, I have been thinking about the continual need for spiritual growth. This is partially due to the fact that the word “journey” comes to mind when we are talking about Lent. We are not people who live in a journey culture. We live in a destination culture. Our lives are not spent appreciating the view, but are fully focused on the road ahead as we seek to achieve our final destination. Of course, this often leads us to miss opportunities to witness beauty and wonder.

This is not a new problem. The human condition of sin has skewed our view of the world since the fall. Adam and Eve couldn’t see the garden for the tree. The people of Israel couldn’t see the blessings of God in the midst of the wilderness, all they wanted was to get to the promised land. Perhaps spending some time appreciating the view, may pay off dividends in our spiritual life.

So just how can we begin to reorient out lives from destination thinking to sojourners on a wonderful journey? I think there are a few specific things we can do that just might help. Continue reading

Eddie Cochran was wrong there is a cure for the Summertime Blues

    The other day I noticed one of our neighbor church’s front sign which read, “God doesn’t take a summer vacation from you.”  Many of you know that I have a real hesitancy towards catchy signs.  I am constantly worried about the perceptions of those who are driving by and how will they receive the message.  Like all communication signs are a two way street.  While our intention may be to be funny and to catch people’s attention we run the risk that the one who is reading may construe it as condescending or judgmental.  I think that this sign is actually aimed towards those in side the Christian community.  I believe the intention of the sign is to remind people that just because summer comes the Church doesn’t close.  It’s a reminder that our duty and the honor of worshiping God in Christ is no less than during the school year.  Continue reading

The Five “P’s” of Passionate Worship

    Passionate Worship is one of the “Five Practices” that Robert Schnase identifies when talking about fruitful congregations and fruitful living.  To be a congregation or individual who are bearing spiritual fruit we need to engage in worship that has its roots deep within the Spirit.  I will be the first to admit that there are days when worship is difficult.  Far too often the concerns of life crowd out my worship desire.

    Schnase identifies five “P’s” that people who practice Passionate Worship seek to have in their life: prioritize, prepare, participate, pray and persist.  Continue reading

Lenten Study: A Cure For Those Winter Doldrums?

It seems like only yesterday that we were engaged in the celebration of Christmas.  Last week, as I took a prayer walk in the Greenbrier Neighborhood, I noticed reminders of that celebration are still present.  Many houses have not been able to take down their Christmas decorations which now, having been battered by rain, snow and wind have taken on a sad if not eerie quality.  Smiling snowmen with their holiday wishes look out with sad eyes that seem to say, “it’s over isn’t it?”

I think that many of us find our faith life enter into a post-Christmas lull .  We put all we can into celebrating the religious and secular aspects of Christmas and then find that our spiritual energy has been used up.  Continue reading