Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Lord’

5 Suggestions For Observing Memorial Day

Wait…..

What are you doing here today?  It’s Memorial Day.  You’re probably off work today.  You ought to be spending your time doing something else besides looking at blogs.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Stop and remember those that have served and fallen in the service of our country
  • Catch up on some chores and/or projects around your home
  • Grill a burger or dog
  • Pause from your normal routine for something fun
  • Praise the Lord who has blessed you richly

What are your plans for Memorial Day?

Sometimes It’s The Same Thing

I wrote the following tweet a few weeks back that approaches a thought I have about a subject:

Plenty of people enjoy singing songs in church.  The question is do they enjoy worshiping the Lord.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I have no ability to decide who is one or the other.  Do I have some guesses here or there?  You bet.  Can I know for sure?  No way, Joseph.

Still the question remains.  Are we singing simply for the enjoyment of singing songs?  Or are we truly worshiping the Lord?

Sometimes I don’t know how to answer that question.

I’m a terrible singer.  I sing in the shower.  I sing in the truck at red lights.  I sing in church with everyone else.

This past Sunday, I worshiped while I did it.

I’m pretty sure that there have been times when I haven’t.

Then again, I’ve worshiped while I wept in the presence of the Lord.

While running down the road.

While hiking in the mountains.

While reading  my Bible.

And guess what?  I haven’t as well.

I would love to say that every time I had a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew, I did it for the glory of God.  I have.  And I haven’t.

Life is weird and strange.  It has its ebbs and flows.  There are days that I feel like I’m worshiping in the presence of the Lord.

There are times I’ve felt far away from Him.

All I know is that sometimes I sing because I enjoy it.  Sometimes I sing to worship the Lord.

Sometimes, it’s the same thing.

Do you find yourself in the same spots?

 

The Two Sides Of Wow At Church

April 25, 2014 4 comments

I don’t know how many church services I’ve been to in my life.  I’ve been on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday nights for much of  my life.  I’ve been to plenty of revival services where I was in church for most of the week.

Since I’m a believer and follower of Christ, church is part of life.  Once I become that new creature Paul says we become, the Church became part of my DNA.  I want to go to church.  As I write this, I am on a business trip and will not get to meet with my church family.

There is a problem, though, as I reflect on my 45 years or so in church.

There haven’t been enough WOW experiences at church.

I would love to pass the blame on.  After all, I’ve had a few too many pastors who seemed like they were passing a kidney stone as they preached on Sunday morning.  They didn’t look happy to be there.  Some of them looked like they had been eating persimmons for breakfast and were going to drink persimmon juice for lunch.  I just never bought that they were the least bit excited about following the Lord, much less being at church.  Some looked like they would rather be trout fishing or turkey hunting.

There was no WOW with them, so how was there going to be any WOW with me?

But there’s a problem here.  I can’t pass all the blame to anyone else.

I can’t control anyone else’s WOW.

The only WOW I have any control over is my own.

So, instead of blaming someone else for my lack of WOW, I have to look at myself.

Am I excited about the Lord?  Am I pumped about the relationship I have with Him?

Am I excited about the best news, the Good News, being in my life?

Am I going to church expecting to be WOWed by what the Lord is doing instead of looking to be wowed by what man is doing?

There are two sides of wow at church.  There is the wow that we think others should do for us.

Then there is the wow that only comes from Who lives within us.

Do you look for WOW at church?

Categories: Christianity, Church, Faith Tags: , ,

Lessons Learned

April 22, 2014 7 comments

I learned an important lesson during these first three and one-half months this year, especially when it comes to blogging.

My friend, Jim Woods, calls me the Cal Ripken Jr. of the blogging world.  I don’t buy that, but I’ve let him tell me that several times.  He and I joke about how I show up every day to bring a post to you.

I’m going to let you, and Jim, in on a little secret.  It’s how I learned this valuable lesson.

I really haven’t written much lately.

Yes, I keep posting, but most of the posts this year were written in December and January.  At one point, I was exactly three months ahead of the game.

Now, as I write this one, I have almost an entire week empty.  I don’t have a huge stockpile of posts ready to go.

Here’s the problem that I ran into.  Here’s the lesson I learned.

When I get too far ahead of the game, I get lazy.  I don’t feel the pressure to publish.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to have some margin, but I don’t need to get too far ahead of myself.

I also learned that I kind of painted myself into a corner.  I wasn’t able to be as flexible when I really wanted to write something that was relevant to the time period.  I could have written it and postponed something else, but, again, begin ahead of the game caused me to be a little lazy with it.

So, I’ve about caught up to myself.  I’m only about a week ahead.  That’s about as far out as I want to get.

This episode reminds me of what James is talking about when he says the guys should say, “If the Lord wills, we’ll do this or that.” (My paraphrase)

I’m going to write and publish.  If the Lord wills.

Rethinking Retirement

March 20, 2014 11 comments

I know a man who retired early.  It was his goal to retire by the age of fifty-two.   He would have thirty years in at the company he worked for.   For as long as I knew him, that was his sole purpose in life.  Retirement.  He hated his job.  I never heard him say a good word about it. Every day was just a day close to retiring.

The age of his goal came.  He retired.  Life was good for a while.  Then 9/11 happened and the stock market dropped for a bit.  It rebounded and life was back to being good for a while.  Then 2008 happened.  Life is more of a struggle.  All of the plans changed.

*****

I have a friend whose dad was a teacher.  His dad was a teacher and deacon in his church.  He was a leader.  He worked hard all of his life to provide for his family.  Then he retired.

He was asked to do some things in church.  He responded by saying that he had done his time and that it was time for others to work.  He wanted to simply enjoy his retirement in peace.

He didn’t get too.  Not long after retirement, he was taken home to be with the Lord.  You could say that was a better deal.  After all, as Paul said, to live is Christ, to die is gain.

My friend sometimes wonders if his dad had kept working for the Lord, if He would have left him here.  We’ll never know.

*****

There’s a man where I work who gets to work between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m. everyday.  He drives in, gets out of his car and goes to his desk.

He walks around the building and makes sure that every copier in the building is on.  He sits down at his desk and does a few things.  He goes to the cafeteria and has breakfast with a few people.

Later on, he will be sitting at his desk and someone will come to him asking him if he has a stamp to mail a letter.  He pulls out a about one hundred dollars worth of stamps and sells them one for cost.  A young lady will stop by and talk to him.  He will ask her if she wants a kiss.  She will giggle and he will give her a Hershey’s Kiss.

This man is ninety years old and one of the happiest people I know.  He has mentioned lately that he might need to slow down and retire soon.  We will all be sad at work when that day comes.

*****

John Piper has mentioned in his book Don’t Waste Your Life how sad it is when people retire.  They spend their time walking beaches collecting seashells.  Or they spend all of their time playing golf.

I think the problem with most people who retire is that they have no real purpose in life.  They did for thirty or forty years.  They retire and suddenly they sit down with nothing to do.

I’m not ready to retire.  I still have a number of years to go before I’m ready to do that.  However, I’m starting to give thought to what I’m going to do with my remaining years when I don’t go to work everyday.

What can I do that will glorify the Lord?  How can I help my church?  How can I help the Church?

I’m looking at how my purpose will change.  How will I spend my time?

It’s time to rethink retirement and what that means.  It isn’t a time to sit down and get older.  It’s a time to live for the Lord.

What do you think about retirement?

You Are An Artist

March 7, 2014 2 comments

I want to help you understand something.  I want to clue you into something very important.  You may not believe me.  I didn’t know this until just the last few years.  Indeed, it is still difficult for me to grasp this idea.

You are an artist.

*****

The other day I was watching a sandwich artist make my dinner.  I had dropped Jan off at the mall where Lauren, our daughter, works.  She wanted to do some shopping and they would just come home together.  My job was to pick up Andrew at my in-law’s, as well as our supper.

The young man behind the counter sliced the bread just right.  He stacked the vegetables just so and put the meat in perfectly.  He wrapped the sandwich perfectly when he was finished.

It was art.

Here’s the secret, though.  It wasn’t the first time he had done this.  It had come after many hours of practice.

*****

Maybe you think it’s silly to consider making sub sandwiches art.  Take any other job or task.  Watch someone who is really good at it.  My father-in-law, for example, can look at any nut that fits a bolt and tell me what size it is.  How?  He practiced an art for so many years that he can see things that the rest of us can’t.

Take anything you do.  It may be a hobby or avocation.  Do it enough and it really becomes an art to you.

*****

What does that have to do with a blog that is normally about faith?  Everything.

Do you pray?  Most of us do.  However, have you heard some people pray?  Their prayers are art.  I’m not talking about using flowery speech that sounds as though someone is trying to impress the audience and the Lord.  I’m talking about those prayers where you can tell someone has practiced being in the presence of the Lord.

How about the ladies who keep the babies in the nursery?  You know the ones, those that can calm just about any baby down.  They’re almost baby whisperers.  They love babies so much that they just seem to be able to say and do the right thing to keep them from crying.

All of this is art.

There is something you do that is art too.  Something that you want to practice every chance you get.  Something that you can use to glorify the Lord.

Something that makes you an artist.

What is your art?

Categories: Christianity, Faith Tags: , , ,

Have You Heard God Whisper?

February 28, 2014 3 comments

Have you ever heard God whisper?

I normally have some noise going on in my life.  It might be something Read more…

Categories: Christianity, Faith Tags: , , ,